Review: Jimpster, under his Franc Spangler alias, delivers a delightful return to Delusions with three funky, disco-infused tracks that demand a dancefloor. Kicking things off with "Fight The Feeling" he crafts a rolling groove enriched with dubby percussion, horn solos, and soaring lead synths. "Powerslide" takes us on a retro journey with clav and guitar chops, Hammond slides, and an irresistible bassline, setting the stage for a high-energy club anthem. "Dance The Funk" closes the release with its deep, low-slung bounce and some juicy synth stabs, a heavy Moog bassline, and crunchy house drums.
Review: A warm welcome back to 6th Borough Project, who have been rather quiet since the release of their Find Your Rhythm album on Roar Groove back in 2017. The Rhythm & Truth EP is genuinely a triumphant comeback, with the pair once again working their magic with a bunch of killer loops, some weighty basslines, and infectious rhythm tracks. Those wanting "classic" 6th Borough Project should check the filter-heavy, disco-sampling deep house wonder that is 'Truth', though lead cut 'Rhythm', a more percussive, slowly building affair rich in quality bass and organ loops, is arguably even better. Finally, they explore their love of dusty, ultra-deep mid-tempo jams on the sublime 'Keep On', which is closest of all three tracks to the sound the Scottish duo explored on their early releases for Jiscomusic and Instruments of Rapture.
Review: Session Victim makes another triumphant return to Delusions of Grandeur with The Intangibles EP, following some noteworthy releases on Toytonics and Rhythm Section International. In the EP's opening track, "Motivation," they team up with Ras Stimulant, a dub-wise microphone man, to create a mesmerizing and intoxicating peak-time loop jam. This track is filled to the brim with irresistible electric piano riffs, vocal snippets drenched in delay effects, jazzy embellishments, and interstellar electronics. Following is "Dromedary Twist" with some winding saxophone lines interweaved with a thick deep house groove, replete with sustained chords and improvised Rhodes motifs. Lastly, "Green Run" lowers the BPMs as the listener enters the realm of lazy, hazy, blissed-out jazzed-up beats. With their style combining live organic elements, fat floor-filling beats, the Germna's duo comes up with comprises three original tracks that traverse the spectrum of high-energy jazz disco meets techno, soulful uplifting house, and downtempo blunted beats.
Review: Mexican duo Soul of Hex has released some fine EPs over the last few years, with their sporadic outings on Delusion of Grandeur often boasting their most interesting and cosmic-minded cuts. There's plenty to admire on their latest outing for the Freerange Records offshoot, from the warming, peak-time ready haziness of opener 'Mystic'- a fine fusion of effortlessly Balearic guitar solos, warming disco bass, spacey synth motifs and dreamy chords - and the sparkling breeziness of revivalist piano-house/late '80s NYC garage number 'Love is In Control' (where vocalist Steve Lucas delivers a star turn), to the squelchy nu-disco/Italo-house flex of 'Heliocentrico' and the bumpin' electro vibes of 'Sphynx'.
Review: 18 months after their first Delusions of Grandeur outing - the rather good Disco Permanente EP - Mexican duo Soul of Hex return to the Freerange Records offshoot with another confident and ear-catching EP. Our pick of a very strong bunch is striding opener 'Say It Again', a weighty, percussion-rich slab of late-night dub disco rich in fluid bass guitar, echoing vocal snippets, layered drums and crisp guitar licks (think Trevor Jackson's Playgroup project and you're close). The fun continues on 'Pharoah Machine', a squelchy and sparkling slab of rolling late-night house, while 'Dreams' is a formidably drowsy, warming and saucer-eyed slab of after-hours deep house brilliance.
Review: During their golden patch between 2015 and 2017, Soul of Hex released well-regarded material on Quintessentials, Defected offshoot DFTD and, most notably, Freerange. It seems fitting then that their first new single in two years should appear on the latter label's on-point Delusions of Grandeur offshoot. It's a typically excitable, all-action affair, with the Mexican twosome variously offering up savagely cut-up, low-slung punk-funk/house fusion ("Disco Permanente"), starry, slap-bass-propelled deep house warmth ("Polygon Alpha Funk" featuring Cornelius SA), madcap, off-the-wall disco-house loop-funk ("Drum Fantasy"), heavily percussive nu-disco/Afro-house fusion ("Punch", featuring More Lotion), and tactile, disco-tinged Balearic deep house goodness ("Psychic").
Review: Delusions of Grandeur are doing a great job marking their 50th release. This second celebratory EP features four more previously unreleased gems from label artists past and present. New York veteran Son of Sound kicks things off with the driving, '90s New Jersey garage influenced pump of "Under The Son", before Sebastien Vorhaus and Ponty Mython join forces on the Theo Parrish influenced, deep jazz-house wiggle of "I'm The Slime". Dave Pezzner dons the Zepp001 guise for the first time in five years and serves up a jazzy nu-disco/deep house fusion (the deliciously tactile "Enemy"), before Norm De Plume closes proceedings with the warm-and-loose, jazz-funk influenced deep house cut "Building Bridges".
Review: New York's Son Of Sound returns to Delusions of Grandeur with two floor-friendly originals plus a remix. To say this guy has history is something of an understatement: as far back as the early 90's this guy was a key figure, involved in seminal releases on Strictly Rhythm, Maxi Records and MAW Records. "New York Iz All I Know" is classic soulful house east side style with neon-lit elements while the funkier "Tight Drop" has that dusty MPC style swing all over it. Aroop Roy steps up for a groovy, sexy and seriously lo-slung remix following a run of fine edits and originals on the likes of Freestyle, Basic Fingers and House Of Disco. More recently Son Of Sound has created magic for Jus Ed's Underground Quality, Classic, Razor n Tape and Local Talk as well as establishing his own District30 imprint. Yet more of Henry Maldonado's sleek and thoughtful style on offer here.
Review: First unleashed on vinyl this time last year, Flight Mode and Joel Brittain's first collaborative EP has finally made it to digital download. This is undoubtedly a good thing, because "Burn This" is superb. In its' original form, the track is a near perfect fusion of dub disco heaviness - chunky bass guitar, delay-laden horn snuppets, crunchy drums - and the kind of electronic instrumentation and mood-enhancing chords more often found in straight-up deep house cuts. There are two tidy accompanying remixes: a sparkling, synth-heavy Balearic house revision by Medlar and a suitably trippy, spaced out Flight Mode dub that's arguably even more driving and floor-friendly than the original mix.
Review: Nottingham based Ron Basejam is the anagrammed alter-ego of Crazy P co-founder James Baron who creates music with feelings on labels such as Futureboogie and Wolf Music and now for Freerange sister label Delusions Of Grandeur. On the fittingly titled The Sound Of A Feeling EP he serves up the charmingly titled "Shit Wizard" a soulful, nu-disco boogie-down jam. "We Walk To War" in its original form is the kind of lo-slung/slo-mo disco that really floats our boat, but the remix up next by Tee Mango really injects it with some Stevie Wonder style soul-funk that'll help get your shine on. The title track is the deepest and most emotive offering here, with its sublime and hypnotic qualities being pushed along by a tight groove.
Review: After 13 months away, Brummie deep house don Mark Evetts returns with something rather special: a warm and woozy, analogue-rich Delusions of Grandeur label debut that arguably sees him in peak form. He first peppers a squelchy bassline and soft-touch drums with sweet melodic motifs and tactile synthesizer chords on 'Swimming Through a Diamond', before tipping a wink to his own hypnotic productions of old on the immersive and warming 'Compact Object'. There's a slightly jazzier and more organic feel to the sun-speckled deepness of 'Heartaches', while 'Leaning Into The Light' is marked out by gorgeous chords, bubbly electric piano lines and languid solos. Finally, 'Mirrored Cube' is a pleasingly saucer-eyed slab of mid-tempo goodness that sounds like it was tailor-made for sofa-bound listening sessions after a heavy night out.
Review: Fresh from the release of his rather good - and decidedly Balearic - debut solo album on Leng, Athenian scene stalwart Lex reunites with regular studio buddy Locke for a more club-ready, deep house-fired EP on Delusions of Grandeur. The pair's hybrid electronic/organic sound comes to the fore on '7 Day Path', where a dubby deep house groove is laden with heavy hand percussion, spacey synths and decidedly intergalactic chords. 'I See No Ball', featuring Locomotives, is a druggy, hypnotic and dubby blend of arpeggio-driven Italo-disco and organ-rich deep house, while 'Catch Up With The Sun' is the kind of relaxed, groovy and summery affair that could have graced Lex's recent album. Also worth checking out is DJ Rocca's remix of '7th Path', which reimagines it as a squelchy chunk of nu-disco/deep house fusion.
Review: Four quite varied tracks make up this latest offering from London-based deep house stable Delusions Of Grandeur. 'Dawn' itself, in its Original Mix form, is a mellow cut with a hint of influences from west coast jazz-funk, while 'Taste Of Life' is a more percussive affair with a very 70s-sounding vocoder/talkbox vocal backing a second, spoken male one. 'Hear The Sun' maintains the laidback feel but operates at a more danceable tempo, while completing the EP is Sven Weissman's ReDawn Inbassed Mix of the title track, which is the one to head for if more traditionally styled deep, dubby house is your bag.
Review: Session Victim's 2012 debut full-length The Haunted House of House was arguably one of the best deep house albums of the year, and this EP provides the equally fine follow up. Opener "Yes I Know" features their trademark loose, swinging drums, warm chords and classic deep house sheen, alongside a healthy amount of what sounds like organic instrumentation. With the addition of a delicious disco vocal sample, it makes for wonderful listening. Max Graef remixes, turning in a version that sounds like a deeper take on 6th Borough Project. "Glow In The Dark", meanwhile, is wholeheartedly Balearic - a blindingly sunny slice of semi-live disco-house bagginess that should get maximum rotations in warmer climes this summer.
Review: On their second EP of 2021, Session Victim is back to doing what they do best: namely combining warming live instrumentation with contemporary dancefloor beats. The best of a strong bunch is arguably opener 'Two Crowns', a dense and energetic broken beat affair in which pots-and-pans percussion hits, mellow Rhodes chords, starry electronic flourishes and late-night deep house stabs cluster around thickset synth-bass and hot-stepping drum machine beats. On 'Guidance' they deliver tactile and dreamy deep house complete with raw analogue bass and breathy flute solos, while 'Village Youth' adds jazzy broken beats to an extremely immersive blend of tactile synth-bass, enveloping electronic chords and lilting, late-night melodies. In a word: delicious.
Review: Matthias Reiling and Hauke Freer return with the Matching Half EP. The Berlin-Hamburg connection present two cuts of feelgood deep house with a loose and live feel, no doubt inspired by their energetic live performances. The title track features some funky disco style drumming beneath some emotive strings, jazzy Rhodes keys and xylophones; all working in perfect harmony. There's also a killer remix of said track by Detroit's finest: Byron The Aquarius, who has appeared recently on Wild Oats and S3A. His version gets well funkier and injects a truckload of soul into it, naturally! Second original offering "Up To Rise" is the deepest journey on offer and has a definite summertime vibe about it.
Review: Session Victim's recent album, Listen to Your Heart, may well be the acclaimed German duo's strongest to date - and that's saying something. This second sampler EP boasts a quartet of cuts that perfectly encapsulate the album's sun-kissed warmth and heady Balearic ethos. Those seeking club-ready thrills should first head for "Shadows", a rolling fusion of rolling house grooves, disco strings and dusty samples, before checking the jazz-fuelled deep house hustle of "Up To Rise (LP Mix)". While naturally impeccable, there's an argument to say that the EP's downtempo moments are arguably even better. "Unchained", a sublime fusion of head-nodding beats, drowsy instrumentation and head-in-the-clouds electronics, is particularly alluring.
Review: New school deep house specialists Delusions Of Grandeur return with another solid three-tracker, this time from Seattle-based studio knob-twiddlers Zepp001. It's the duo's second EP for the label, following 2009's warmly received "Don't Sleep". "The Warm" itself has a touch of Deep Space Orchestra about it - all off-key chords, otherworldly noises and alien melodies. "Dearly Beloved" has a slightly warmer feel thanks to a bubbling low-end groove, sneaky carnival percussion flourishes and some excellent, far-out nu-disco synths. Best of all, though, is DJ Nature's remix of the same track, which re-casts the original as a jazz-flecked spacey deep houser.
Review: Bari-based Nico Lahs has proved to be something of a musical chameleon over the last 10 years, subtly shifting between various strains of house and techno whilst striving to develop his own trademark style. Got Me Coming Back, his Delusions of Grandeur debut, is equally as diverse, with the producer utilising the EP format to showcase the breadth and depth of his club-ready cuts. He begins with the warming chords, thickset grooves, spacey electronics and fluid jazz-funk bass of 'Got Me Coming Back', before adding sweet melodic flourishes to a bustling, cymbal-heavy house beat on 'Deep Down in My Soul'. Shirts-off peak-time pump is provided by via the retro-futurist deep house throb of 'Your Sweet Lovin', while 'How's Life' is a jazzier and sunnier slab of sample-house goodness.
Review: Scottish duo Graeme Smith and Craig Smith aka 6th Borough Project present the third and final sampler ahead of the release of their debut album, kicking off with two surprisingly house dominated cuts, "B.U.R.T" and "The Fool", whose intro does indeed fool via a standard tech house first half. Abruptly, the music cuts and from nowhere an immense disco accapella cuts in - the beat returns as a disco fuelled funk attack, 6th Borough Project as we know (and love) them!
Review: Thanks to three previous 12" and digital samplers, most of you will have a fair idea what to expect from this debut full-length from Scottish house-disco fusionists Graeme Clark and Craig Smith. It's still very much worth listening to the album in its entirety, though. Clearly designed as a proper album to be listened to in sequence, it's beautifully programmed and packs a whole skipload of great ideas (not to mention brilliant samples) into a thoroughly entertaining 90-miniute journey. While it only occasionally strays from house - check the downtempo delight "Settle" - there's plenty of variety within that, touching on classic NYC deepness, loopy disco/house heaviness, sensual slo-mo grooves and string-laden tech-house builders.
Review: While his chosen moniker may be mildly amusing, there's nothing silly, cheeky or throwaway about the music of Sydney-based Londoner Norm De Plume. "Squarker", his first EP of any sort for nigh on two years, is full of detailed, mood-enhancing, musically rich deep house treats. Check first deliciously glassy-eyed opener "Squarker", where rising synthesizer lead lines, swirling chords and funk-fuelled synth flourishes rise above a sturdy bed of disco-house beats and rubbery jazz-funk bass, before admiring the bustling beats, sustained chords and breathless hustle of "Love Me So". If that lot's not enough to set your pulse racing, "A Stone Thing" should impress with its crunchy drums and classic deep house warmth.
Review: Warm and chugging disco-tinged house is on offer once again from the imperious Delusions of Grandeur, with the Foolin EP arriving with Germany's Manuel Tur at the wheel. Sticking with his usual synth heavy and sultry style, Tur strikes an immediately gritty tone of funk with tightly plucked guitar riffs, swooning brass and soulful vocals on the title track. Up next, an instrumental version of "Foolin" is accompanied by "The Traveller", which treads percussive realms with a heartbeat drum platform that pushes this otherwise orchestral and ambient track ever forward. Piano keys dance gently as string beds ascend against scatterings of brass and tinny crashes; our pick of the bunch.
Review: In the canon of EPs that require little in the way of additional prompting from the Juno review staff, the latest release from Delusions of Grandeur must surely rank high. Pairing We Play House duo FCL with VFB, the latest alias from Dani 'MCDE' Plessow proves to be a smart choice, securing Delusions perhaps their finest release to date! Love Prescription is nominally formed around three variations on the title track from Plessow's new VFB moniker (yet another smart ode to his hometown) introducing the yearning soulful tone of Stef Gustaph amidst a nicely stripped down take on house music which is perhaps best utilised on the bubbling Dirt Dub version. FCL appear with the masterful "Matrix Plus" full of bouncing rhythms and high rise chords dipped with Mr Fingers style emotion.
Review: Underground Sugar Caves marks a triumphant third waddle through the deepest recesses of rhythmic programming on Delusions of Grandeur for Tornado Wallace. The Australian is a man whose grasp of The Simpson's trivia is more than matched by his rise in the public's estimations since he debuted with Paddlin'. Lead track "Underground Sugar Caves" sees the erstwhile Wallace leave the sanctity of chugging disco for something altogether more thrilling - warehouse ready raw house music. The ease with which Wallace flips the script from the kick drum heavy compressed sound of the opening moments to the stabs and energising strings that dominate the track in full flow will transcend excellently in a small basement space. "Insect Overlords" is a more familiar mid tempo saunter, though there are enough production nuances to separate it from the chaff, whilst the venerable Idjut Boys turn in an excellently dubby transition of "Underground Sugar Caves" which is indelibly stamped with moodiness. Highly recommended.
Review: More discerning discotheque cuts for the cowbell connoisseur from the Delusion of Grandeur imprint, this time calling on Australian playboy Tornado Wallace. The Melbourne resident has impressed with previous pitched down mutant discoid cuts for the Sleazy Beats and Murmur imprints, but the Paddlin' EP sees Tornado Wallace go deep. The title track has a main groove that throbs away underneath fizzling Detroit pads whilst funk grunts fight for your attention with soaring synth washes. "Swimmin" reworks proceedings, switching down the tempo slightly but bringing the groove topside for a splendid sun kissed chugger. Firecracker/Prime Numbers don Linkwood jumps on board to deliver a soaring seven minute remix that brings to mind the Pepe Bradock classic "Deep Burnt".
Review: Given his production vintage spanning REKIDS, Burek, Under The Shade and Let's Play House there's a sense of inevitability that Toby Tobias would surface on Delusions Of Grandeur sooner or later; indeed it feels strange that it's taken so long but as Burning Love demonstrates, its been worth the wait. Lead track "It's Burning" is notable for the chiming synth that resonates brightly amidst a multiplicity of gurgling analogue grooves, whilst "I Give You Love" opts for a more rugged warehouse vibe, embellished by the yearning vocal hooks. Down below these two cuts get remixed in requisite fashion; the London Housing Trust collective tackle "I Give You Love" morphing it into a tripped out jacking freestyle number, whilst the always excellent Lauer works his magic on "It's Burning" introducing all manner of vivid colour with his melodies and basslines. This Juno Download exclusive version also features the original demo version of "It's Burning".
Review: If you missed Soul 223's previous exploits - and given that he's released on Delsin and Soul Jazz, you shouldn't have done - this tidy EP for Delusions of Grandeur offers an excellent introduction. His influences - Detroit techno, soul, disco and hip-hop, mainly - can all be heard on "Fear of Shopping", a tight-but- swinging deep house gem built around tropical soul rhythms and Detroit-influenced chords and melodies. It's really quite excellent, as is the deeper, quirkier, Mr Beatnick style "Birdbrook Rain". The shuffling European futurism of the Max Mill Remix of "Fear of Shopping" really impresses, though the spine-tingling breakdowns and rising chords throughout Hoist Covert's mix of "Walberswick" are a Balearic delight.
Review: It's three years since Craig Smith and Graeme Clark impressed with One Night In The Borough, a landmark album that epitomized all that was good about the cut-and-paste, disco-sampling deep house scene of the time. This sophomore set offers more of the same, delivering tracks that ride a range of tempos in their trademark deep, loopy, hypnotic and pleasingly baggy style. While there are plenty of surprisingly supple, heavily electronic uptempo cuts on offer (see "Feel", the disco rush of "In Your Arms" and the classic, Frankie Knuckles-ish US house of "Read My Mind"), they're still at their best when operating at a slower tempo, as the deliciously jazzy "Walk Away" and sensual throb of "Through The Night" neatly prove.
Review: One Night In The Borough, the debut full-length from Scottish disco/house fusionists Craig Smith and Graeme "The Revenge" Clark, is arguably the best thing either producer has done yet (and certainly collectively). This first sampler 12" showcases four of the album's many highlights, offering plenty of loopy, floor-friendly grooves for those who like their house with more than a dash of original disco flava. Choose between the slo-mo MDMA soul of "If The Feeling's Wrong" (our pick), the urgent stomp of "Find A Way", the smart retro house vibes of "Changin" and "Iznae", a delightfully stripped-back chunk of late night deep house bliss.
Review: This second sampler for Craig Smith and Graeme Clark's excellent debut album once again sees them in fine form. While three of the four tracks stick to their tried-and-tested formula - rock-solid deep house built on heavy, head-nodding loops, long, lazy builds and cute, killer hooks - there's plenty to get excited about. The distinctly old skool "Back To Me" (check that analogue bassline) and hynotic head-nodder "Deep C" stand out, with "BURT (The Journey)" not far behind. The most revelatory moment, though, is "Settle", a dreamy downtempo concoction crafted from syrupy soul samples, echo-laden beats and sinewy strings that sounds like an updated version of Minnie Ripperton's more sensuous moments.
Review: Pattern Select is Milton Jackson's new endeavour with Show B and the results of their first collaborative work together finds a suitable home at Delusions Of Grandeur. Tale Of The Tape is both an auspicious glance at what the duo have up their sleeve and perhaps the finest EP on the DoG imprint to date. Ploughing a decidedly subterranean path through the rawer excesses of house music, what is really a selection of simple elements - vocal hooks, crafty drums, ever rising pads and satisfying crashes - are combined excellently and infiltrated by the wormiest of arpeggiated synth lines. The accompanying dub version does what all good dub versions are supposed to do and there is the bonus of a flipside revision from man like Cottam that completely rewires the track along some next century utopian galactic house tip - you'll love the smudged rhythms that come floating in. Just to switch up the vibe, Pattern Select end on the dusty fingered brilliance of "Matrix" - full on beat down head nod vibes soaked in Detroit atmospherics.
Review: Having already impressed with outings on Foto, ARP and their own Use Of Weapons, Deep Space Orchestra add Delusions Of Grandeur to their CV and deliver perhaps their most refined work to date. "Lo Pan" weaves between flourishes of Rhodes and analogue arps with a confidence that fully demonstrates their progression as a production unit. Underpinning all this is the constant groove of 808 kicks and Detroit that provides the all important rawness and momentum. The accompanying remix from Berlin duo Trickski drags "Lo Pan" into the lower reaches of muscular house movements, stripping proceedings back to a dramatic synth lead and neck crunching beat before unfolding into a groove that really gets under your skin - thanks in no small part to the added vocals. Deep Space Orchestra end proceedings on the hazed out "Disarm" which accrues a delightfully ethereal quality as it floats towards its conclusion. Fine work all round!