Byron The Aquarius - "Full Moon" (feat MDMA) (5:09)
Lady Blacktronika - "Can We Still Be Friends?" (7:05)
DJ Aakmael - "Transit" (5:58)
Review: Given that Croatia's Dimensions Festival is one of the most consistently on-point electronic music events around, it figures that their new off-shoot label should regularly hit the spot, too. Certainly, the early signs are good. This second sampler single impresses from start to finish. Occasional L.I.E.S artist Marcos Cabral kicks things off with a fine chunk of fluid, underwater deep house ("Prochainement"), before Byron The Aquarius reaches for the talkbox on the sumptuously deep, soulful, jazz-funk influenced house bliss of "Full Moon". Lady Blaktronika gets things going on side B with the groovy, late night Detroit deep house bump of "Can We Still Be Friends". Arguably best of all, though, is the dreamy, jammed-out analogue deep house warmth of DJ Akmael's "Transit".
Review: Rough House Rosie is back with another selection of sublime tones in the adventurous corner of the deep house playground. The Silent Movie Sounds series never fails to present a fascinating array of producers, and so it is on the fourth volume as Nemanja Krstic seduces with the melodic delights of "Bass Odyssey" and Lady Blaktronika heads into blissed-out territory with the spiritual wonder of "Ringo Oiwaka Heaven". Miruga's "White Moon" is a mysterious, dubbed out affair and Seal Bient heads even further out with the scuffed and muffled flutter of "Slavery". As ever, the vitality of the tracks on this 12" can't be ignored for open-minded diggers looking for original, contemporary deep house.
Review: This awesome EP of future house business from the self proclaimed First Lady of Beatdown finally gets a vinyl release after Your Only Friend launched with it digitally last year. Whislt there's a degree of brassiness to the title that might be ill advised, there's not exactly a wealth of female producers putting out Detroit techno right now. Things kick off with "Lose My Life" with Blacktronica's vocals steeped in a veneer of sadness and surrounded by an almost drunken approach to syncopation. The accompanying Dark Love Beatdown Dub is dominated by the ever present sensation of swirling bass menace. The best track is reserved for the B Side, with the glorious jacking sounds of "Summertime In The City" really complemented by the excellent manipulation of Mattski's voice.
Review: In a bizarre world where Andy Gray is a deep house nut instead of a Phil Collins buff, even he couldn't help but be impressed by this latest twelve from the first lady of beatdown, aka Lady Blacktronika. In the great tradition of Detroit beatdown, "Black Girl" in both its slomo and deep house variants is seeping with musical emotion and rich textures. It's perhaps the lolloping throb of the slomo version that impresses the most, thanks to the woozy pads and intricate layers of crunchy percussion that form the basis of the track which combine brilliantly with the surfeit of looped up vocal samples. Matching this is the B Side brilliance of "The E's Have It", a constantly building sludgy chugger underpinned by gradually rising strains of machine funk head f*ck.
Review: Lady Blacktronika, who has been in prolific form for about 12 months now, pops up on the Italian imprint Kinda Soul, which has built a sturdy reputation by releasing raw and deep house from the likes of Scott Ferguson, Jus-Ed and Kassem Mosse. The opening track title made us blush, but all childish thoughts went out the window once we heard the slinky rhythm Blacktronicka built up. It's hard to decide which one of the B Side offerings impressed us most - the 45 rpm vocals layered on 33 rpm beats on "Be Free" or the ethereal synth patterns of "The Shadows" - so we'll just say we love them both equally.
Review: With a prolific surge of output in the past few years, Lady Blacktronika has firmly positioned herself in the upper-tier of US deep house producers, with her productions spreading in scope and landing in all sorts of places, like here on D'Julz's ever trusty Bass Culture imprint. She's in a refined and simmering mood here, with "Learn Me Baby" in particular keeping the mood bubbling just under the surface thanks to a brooding piano lick and distant vocal hits. "All In Vain" might be a livelier track but it's still thoroughly smart in its merging of distinct and feverish elements to create a dense but smoothly delivered peak time jam. "Lord Knows" is equally cunning in its ways, dropping in something like a classic house approach without losing that clamouring intensity.
Review: Lady Blacktronika walks into the Skylax label like she owns the place with It's A Blacktronika World EP, and the first track, "Right Direction", get things off to the right start; great groove, great melody, great drums, great rhythm. Thick and rich Rhodes of the former are chocked by a tight tremolo effect in "Deee With It (How Do You Say)", while "Cheat & Lie" is like a deeper take on "Right Direction" mixed with something in line with MCDE's Raw Cuts series. "Fantasize Me" sounds like a hi-fi DJ Spider production and completes what could be described as this year's best deep house record. Respect.
Review: Your Only Friend is back after a two year break of debauchery and nonsense with a new release from Berlin based, American artist, Lady Blacktronika. We start this EP off with the title track "Fleeting Moments of Ex". An edgy and driving track with a thumping bass and a chicagoesque bounce to the stabs that later overlay it. classic Lady Blacktronik vocals keep the track hypnotic and moody.
"Waiting For You" is a deeper yet tough bassline infused track that keeps in in line with Lady Blacktronika's past work. Moody, and meaningful with a groove that is sure to keep the floor dancing with their eyes closed. "Blood Loss" is a loopy track that dives in and out of the trippy vocals and screams that overlay it. Mechanical beats keep the track moving. "Gimme A Break" holds true to the First Lady of Beatdown's moody Detroit sound. A piercing high hat clocks over the tracky vocal and heavy sub bass. This is truly a beautifully put together track full of emotion and feeling.
Review: Jenifa Mayanja and Dakini 9's Sound Warrior label continues to fly the flag for female house producers, this time inviting North Carolina DJ Lady Fingers to make an appearance with the smoky throwdown of "Depth". Mayanja herself then steps up with the ethereal, broken beat tones of "Get Off My Back," Berlin-based Ena Lind takes things in a dramatic, evocative direction on "High & Over" before Lady Blacktronika delivers her inimitable style of shimmering house music with the hi-hat shaking "Chance Of Love." Executed with warmth and intrigue, the Warrior Formulation 12" is another direct hit for Sound Warrior - as if we expected anything less.
Lady Blacktronika - "Deep Luv" (Jenifa Mayanja Reflection remix)
Jenifa Mayanja - "I Wanna Hold You"
Jenifa Mayanja - "I Wanna Hold You" (Lady B remix)
Review: Jennifer Mayanja and Lady Blacktronika team up on this mutual back scratch of a twelve inch, each taking a side and taking turns to remix the other. Lady Blacktronika is up first with "Deep Luv" driven by a surfeit of dusty layers of percussion and spectral chord movements, the ebbing throb of the bass drum piercing Blacktronica's echoed vocals with menace. Mayanja's remix goes for the off kilter Detroit beatdown future refit angle, a simple double bassline and emotive synth patterns the backdrop to a procession of disparate layers of percussion that somehow find a natural rhythm augmented by flourishes of melancholic piano. Jus-Ed's better half drops some glistening future soul on the B Side in the shape of "I Wanna Hold You", a track with a richness of melody that is underpinned by the intensity that threatens to engulf your senses via the low bass frequency and dramatic chords. Blacktronika's remix strips the track bare of its soulful origins spare Mayanja's vocals, which get sunk deep beneath a granular groove and sinewy bassline.
Review: Stepping up to the plate for Germany's Nsyde imprint, Skymark reaches out to Lady Balcktronika to help him out with a wonderfully jagged approach to boogie infused house music, not least on the lead track "Use Me". There are synths flying all over the place in the loosest kind of funk, from cheeky Moog trills to unconscious chord stabs, all stitched together in an authentically soulful way. "Honeymoon Ballad" is a more techy affair, featuring more of the same bonkers synth action but in a more forward-thrusting and low-passing way. "Destructive Poison Everywhere" finds a space somewhere in between its two predecessors, although it's definitely still more catered to the linear dancefloor.