Review: Nice 1 Records launches with a sublime slice of deep house geared towards tender moments in the dance. We Are Syd's "Gently" in its original form is a smoky downtempo cut riding on a laid back broken beat, honey-coated keys and a powerful vocal turn from accomplished singer Shea Seger. The emphasis on this record is on the two stellar mixes from Baby Ford & Dazmos, leading on the A side with the hazy, old-school groove of the "Backroom Mix". Seger's husky delivery lingers in a mellifluous bed of pads and a classic, understated drum machine funk. On the flip, the "Frontroom Mix" bring the rhythm section to the forefront, letting the undulating bassline carry the track and splashing dubbed out flourishes in the mix for a spellbinding, club-ready end result.
Review: Gilles Aiken is not short of space in which to express his distinctive ideas about fusing dancefloor minimalism with a global palette. While his more streamlined house and techno fare is generally released under his Edward alias, Desert Sky has carried some of his wilder ideas with stunning results. The first few releases came shrouded in mystery on a self-titled label, but since then Desert Sky has landed on Assemble Music and Baby Ford's iconic PAL SL. Aiken returns to the latter now with a hefty album project that gives Desert Sky the appropriate room to breathe, and Aiken sounds free spirited and expressive through every inch of tumbling percussion, deft handclaps, spooked out textures and more besides. It's a heady trip through dusty samples configured in fresh, invigorating ways, ranking among the strongest artistic statements Aiken has made to date thanks to its worldly inspiration and otherworldly end results.
Review: It sounds like this release could have been recorded in a lead-encased chamber. All the tracks have a muffled, indistinct feeling, but that doesn't mean that they lack a dance floor focus - and quite the opposite is true. On "Transporte Pesado", concrete drums and heavy claps slice through the textured fog, while Felix Lorussos's version sees a menacing, pulsing bass achieve the same result. But it's really on the title track where this interplay is most pronounced and impressive. Brooding, growling vocals set an ominous tone, but combined with the booming bass and metallic percussion, the result sounds nothing short of supernatural.
Review: Jamie and Matt from Brighton, also known as 2 Rotten Scoundrels proudly mix up garage, house and breaks. "Hypnotise" by 2 Rotten Scoundrels is dark, UK bass influenced tech house for South London basement shut-ins. A heavy swing fuelled beat supports a razor sharp melody and heavy bass assault. Those Burial style R&B pitch shifted vocals are a nice touch too. "2 Rotten Scoundrels" by the mysterious Deepish (see what they did there!) gets a bit more on the progressive house tip it seems for a minute. With its hands in the air organ stab melody, but wait until that grimy UK bass starts tearing through the track, and it's absolutely sick.