Review: As ever, when we see a new Sneaker Social Club project land on our shelves, we were super excited to take a trip into the unknown and unexplored, as Soundbwoy Killah touches down for his feature length album 'Halycon Daze'. The album is an excellent showcase of vibrant drum designs and rhythmic exploration, as we hear most potently on the lively percussive curls of 'Under The Influence', along with the more subtle sub pushes of 'Pang'. For us, the stand outs have to include the super crunchy UKG flavours of 'Wanna Hold U', along with stunning percussive expanses of 'Loiner Dub'.
Review: Originally released in 2015, Young Marco's "The Best I Could Do" shows that he is as adept in the studio as he is behind the decks. The renowned crate digger draws on his knowledge of underground house and techno for this understated, melancholic affair. Sad synths swirl up over a raw, resonating bass and the end result has a decidedly wintry feeling. House veteran Tom Trago drops a similar sounding track, "Brutal Romance (TT's Love Fix)". However, on this occasion, the groove is upbeat and the riffs are more insistent, but the same frazzled approach to production prevails. Keeping it atmospheric, Fatima Yamaha delivers the slow tempo, synth-heavy "The Creature From Culture Creation", which also featured on the original 2015 release.
Review: Tom Lown's "Love Portion" from a few months back blew up on the scene in a big way. Now, deep house imprint Lost My Dog digs back into the release to unveil yet another one of their revered remix EPs. Canadian mover Jay Tripwire is given the duty, sweeping in with three slinky remixes that delve deep into the sounds of underground tech house. The 8 Channels Mix and The Revenge of the Juno 106 Mix are ultra deep and hypnotic whereas his mid-tempo interpretation is lighter and less intense.
Review: Party breaks producers always say that it takes a long life of slogging before you make it to heaven, but not for this mash-up king who had reached Breakbeats Paradise early. That said Tom Showtime has paid his dues too with years of delivery the party ammunition. Here he joins forces with the aforementioned label to provide more of the usual light-hearted floorfillers. There are five jams to enjoy here including the funky, Fresh Prince-era hip-hop vibes of "Supernaturalflow", the tough breaky grooves of the Salt-N-Pepa-sampling, "Dancefloor Seasoning" and the sunshine vibes of dubby dancehall jam, "King Of Clubs".
Review: If Tom Trago's debut album, Voyage Direct, was an impressive exercise in developing a signature style, then this sophomore set has clearly been designed to show the sheer scale of the Dutchman's growing ambition. It's almost as if Trago is setting out his stall: he's not just a simple disco/house fusionist, but a musical alchemist with more strings to his bow than a twelve-string player with an impressive collection of lutes, mandarins and sitars. The 15 tracks that make up Iris include forays into noughties hip-house (Tyree Cooper collaboration "What You Do"), crisp, late night electro-funk ("Suckers For Fools", with Olivier Day Soul), ambient soundscapes ("Soon In A Cinema"), rush-inducing Joy Orbison-ish future garage ("Joys Of Choice") and, curiously, hooky, radio-friendly pop-house. Of course, there are some typical Trago moments ("Scent Of Heaven", the Dam Funk-does-deep house vibes of "Space Balloon"), but these are sandwiched between a kaleidoscopic array of rainbow-tinted songs and collaborations (Romanthony, Meikbar and San Proper also feature).
Review: Acclaimed global music DJ Tom Burclay tears into the Compost label's selection of the best modern samba and chilled Tropicala on this new compilation. Greats of different eras like Truby Trio and Ennio Morricone appear side by side thanks to Burclay's dexterous selection style, with some chilled moments like Fon-Kin's "Monticello" proving to be real highlights.
Review: Some well deserved modern (and classic) renditions from some right classics of the Peppermint Jam back catalogue featured here. The Hannover based label serves up part four of the Allstars series, featuring two rare vinyl only gems and two unreleased club weapons. Label head honcho Mousse T is featured twice: with none other than the mighty "Sexbomb" - his infamous collaboration with the one and only Tom Jones. Here getting a an even sleazier late night perspective which we didn't mind at all! Next is a remix of Seductive Souls feat. Onita Boone's cover of "Aint Nobody" (Mousse T's Ain T No Good Man Mix). Plus, who can remember Ann Nesby's vocal house anthem "Love Is What We Need" from the turn of the millenium? We sure can - and legend Joe T. Vannelli's remix gives it a deep down and dirtier vibe.