Review: Moonrise Hill Material has an interesting mission statement. The French label says that it is dedicated to "poetic house music", a deliciously open-ended concept that's open to all sorts of interpretations. In the case of this EP - a multi-artist affair featuring label regulars and newcomers - that largely means chunky club tracks that doff a cap to classic disco and boogie. There are deviations from the blueprint, of course - see the dub-flecked tropical house slinkiness of Tochigi Canopy's "Gulf Ressac", or the Andres-ish loop jazziness of LB aka Labat's "Your Ass Gotta Go" - but it's likely most DJs will reach for the celebratory positivity of Etheyne and Folamour's party-starting A-side cuts.
Review: Following fine recent outings on Wolf Music, Le Petit Zoo and D.KO, LB aka Labat serves up more dope freshness on the freshly minted Magic Black imprint. Just like previous releases, the majority of the tracks on Celestial Plan are crafted from a combination of dusty samples, hand-picked loops and tapped-out, MPC style beats. This approach allows Labat to flit between blazed, late night instrumental hip-hop beats ("Nothin' New (Dub)", "Spice Go"), woozy but attractive, off-kilter soundscapes (the impeccable "Sticky Green"), lo-fi, post-house fuzziness (the eccentric but rather good title track) and most positive, dancefloor-focused affairs ("Pack Your Stuff", which contains a suitably positive and glassy-eyed loop lifted from an old Paradise Garage favourite).
Review: It's been a phenomenal year for Lyon-based Baptistin Cablou; fresh from his album Fake Memories and his Magic Black-released "Celestial Plan" comes a fresh EP on his and Pablo Valentino's brand new label Le Petit Zoo. Home to four endangered animals, it's a dedicated exercise in house preservation as each cut shimmers with timelessness; "Something" fumes with smouldering Detroit waves, "Alelah Deepness" shines with a dusty jazz so strong it could easily live at 22a, "Purple Thang" adds a little west coast subtlety to a heavily percussive blend while "Rings" closes the deal with a militant drum arrangement and chilling, mournful chords. It's feeding time.