Review: After recent outings on Local Talk and Z Records, Ben 'Crackazat' Worrall begins 2017 with an outing on new imprint Eureka. A-side "Coffee Time" is typical of his jazzy, undulating, mixed-up house sound, with darting, layered vocal samples and snaking sax lines riding a killer jazz-funk bassline and dexterous rhythm track. B-side "Seven Steps" takes a more traditional approach to jazz-house, with Worrall working a killer groove created by fusing cut-up jazz loops and bouncy new drums. It's like a more forthright 21st century version of Boulevard-era St Germain, but with a little more UK garage influence in the bottom end.
Hit It Bubba (I Want My Dadda's Rekids!!!!) (5:42)
Party Marty (5:47)
Review: The Detroit badman always delivers the goods, but he'd recently focussed on his more house-centric style thanks to a series of sleek, soulful releases. This time, he's come out all guns blazing with this new four-part killer, led by the absolutely nutty groove that is "Sink Holes" - a proper slice of Omar S acid, delivered in fine style and with his inimitable rawness. "HELL ON EARTH" is a moodier, funkier house tip with a jazzy side, while the flipside's "Hit It Bubba (I Want My Dadda's Rekids!!!!)" is a fast, upbeat house bomb with a crazy little disco sample that floats amid the grainy bass drums. "Party Marty" is a no nonsense kind of lick, pouncing away with a steady, yet unmistakably Omar S-style percussion, and a heavy bass blow. This is one hell of a way to make an appearance this early in the year - highly recommended!!
Review: After the widespread success of the first Minimal Vision compilation on the resurgent Vibraphone Recordings, The True Underground Sound Of Rome return with a second volume that takes in tracks made over a 23 year period. What comes across is how consistent the sound is, whenever an individual jam was made. The same heavy-lidded melodics and easy-funking rhythm sections prevail across all nine cuts here, at times hitting the uplifting pace of "Vertigo" or heading into the meditative pastures of "Sea Bird", but always maintaining that quintessential Vibraphone feeling. The diggers will be happy to snag the reissued tracks as well as discovering completely fresh material from Rome's premier deep house institution.
Review: Here's something to get excited about: a cracking new cut from Detroit deep house legend Alton Miller, backed with a 'Sound Signature' translation from the equally revered Theo Parrish. Miller's version of "Bring Me Down", is something of a treat: a sparkling, starry deep house epic that's blessed with immaculate vocals from soul chanteuse Maurissa Rose. Parrish's translation is equally as stretched out and similarly enjoyable, but is far looser and dustier in feel, with warmer bass and beats that naturally tend towards the jazzier. It's naturally more in keeping with Parrish's work than Miller's, but retains enough of the latter's touches to be counted as a fine remix.
Review: London duo Payfone return to Golf Channel with two more stately ageless gems. "Justified" takes a similar tone to their previous floor-burner "Quarantine", all star-lit and subtly cosmic, but with added soul snippets and textures wrapping around the groove like tailored faux fur. "We Are Chains" builds even more fervour with serious spiritual muscle as a Romanthony-level vocal preaches gutsily over another brilliantly slow, steady and broadsword dub disco groove. Definitely something to phone home about.
Review: Well over two years has passed since the release of Keeping The Legacy, a compilation style EP featuring tracks inspired by "the classic sounds from Chicago, New York and Detroit". This belated follow-up begins with something rather special: a fine Jorge Caiado 'Morning Dub' of lesser known Abacus and Chez Damier hook-up "Closer". While it boasts their usual chunky, groovy bottom-end, the mix also makes great use of a yearning, cyclical electronic melody. Elsewhere, James Duncan delivers the hazy deep house bump of "416 Zone (Dub Mix)", Jacksonville laces dreamy, drifting chords over a killer bassline and heavy percussion on "Twilight Industries", and Satore reaches for the cowbells and Gwen Guthrie vocal samples on the disco-influenced throb of "Keep On".
Review: In the sales notes sent to record stores, Smalleville has described this multi-artist affair as "a club night from start to finish". Certainly, the four tracks are pleasingly varied, moving from the 109 BPM bliss of Makybee Diva's untitled dream-house shuffler, to the energetic acid house/deep house fusion of "Monkeys On My Roof" by L'Amour Fou, a collaborative project whose members include the legendary David 'Move D' Moufang. Elsewhere, Arnaldo delivers a near perfect chunk of Detroit techno inspired deep house hypnotism ("Screaming With A Blocked Nose"), and Chicagoan producer Snad combines sweaty, bumpin' grooves and becalmed synthesizer motifs on the excellent "Excerptz".
Review: The regular cast of characters to be found lurking round Pressed For Time knock heads over some no-nonsense groovesome house music for those who like a kink in their party selections. Goshawk lead the charge with the tough yet soulful "Mozambique (Dub Chord)", using some choice keys and vocal samples to create a warm mood over the top of the chunky drums. Rhythm Plate turn the funk up and smooth out proceedings with undulating pads and string stabs before Shaka strides in on the flip with an impeccable slice of boogie-infused good time house music. YSE rounds the EP off with a peppy workout sprinkled with playful leads and a tightly wound beat.
Review: Berlin's Modus crew return with another widescreen session from affiliates, friends and comrades. The shadowy DXC duo let rip with another up-tempo ode to Detroit with a relentless slightly dubbed out riff. Long-standing German representer Mac-Kee gets a raw Chicago chunk on with "I've Been Tune" while equally enduring master-craftsman Franck Roger provides spiritual healing with his sultry, harmonic Iz & Diz-esque "Ever". Finally London's Maik Yells takes the last leg with the restrained and contemplative, garage-style strutter "Swap". As with the previous editions of the "Beste Freunde" series, it's premium ear candy across the board... And likely to fly just as quickly.
Review: It's been a while since we heard something fresh from Ike Release. The Chicago-based producer was on a productive roll through 2015, both solo and alongside Hakim Murphy in Innerspace Halflife, but now he breaks his silence with a sturdy two-tracker for Finale Sessions. As you would expect, gritty machine jams are the order of the day, but there's plenty of soul and mystery sprinkled atop the box beats to make for spellbinding results. Both "Tangerines" and "Tungsten" lurk in the lower registers of the tempo range, but there's a weight behind these productions that makes it far from mere warm-up fodder.
Review: According to their online profile, Parisian label Home Invasion is a concept based on the core ideals of house music. Inspired by twice weekly visits to his favourite record store in Paris, Franck Roger claims "this is 21st Century music influenced by interacting with the real world." Here he calls upon Spanish producer Carlos Sanchez of Lowwaxx fame, who serves up some tough and dusty all analogue house on the Alphard EP and the title track is testament to this. On "Raw Behaviour" he gets more raw and deeper with booming 808 business, emotive chords and dubby elements. On the flip, he saves the best for last on "Paradigm" which again goes for dubbier low end dynamics and dark atmosphere that is perfect for the afterhours.
Review: On this EP, Mule Musiq has gathered together a crack team of artists to rework tracks from Lawrence's most recent album, the fine Yoyogi Park. Kettenkarussell serve up two fine reworks of "Illuminated", first heading into deep space, atmospheric techno territory before breaking up the beats on their dreamier, more fragile Yin Mirror version. The headline attraction is arguably Roman Flugel's rework of "Clouds and Arrows", which wraps sparkling synthesizer melodies and cascading piano lines over a bouncy tech-house groove. Arguably best of all, though, is Lake People's version of "Simmer", which fixes bouncy, old school house pianos to a sparkling electro groove.
Review: While many US producers from the second house wave of the 90s are looked at like demigods, others have remained partly in the shadows, and considerably underrated given their achievements. Anthony Nicholson is one producer who belongs to the latter category, but one which we've been supporting since day one of Juno. The man came to prominence thanks to a fruitful relationship with Ron Trent, and also to a whole heap of quality releases for known imprints like Peacefrog, Prescription, and Nite Grooves. This week, however, he's up on his own highly underrated Circular Motion, spear-headed by the excellent "Miquifaye Studio Rewerk", a tribal house groove with a deep, wondrous backdrop of synth exploration. "Beat Pad Apella" is a jazzier piece of music, an enticing house chiller with plenty of musical nuances that bounce off its full, intricate groove. Excellent - don't overlook this one...
Review: It's the big, bad Joe Claussell, and the master reigns in the new year with this absolute stunner of an EP for the Sacred Rhythm label. This is Claussell at his most daring, however, and while you might be expecting some phat-ass house beats and groovy tribalism, the man goes far left of the field on here. The opening "Dungeon Maggots" is a translucent blend of crystal synths and subtle dub echoing, while "Matter Of Factness" injects a delicate house flow into the mix, propelled into motion by a dubby guitar riff. "Affect", "Nuances", and "Seciov" all act as beatless electronic tools, a trio of synth sways to add extra effect to your DJ mix. Yes, Joe!
Review: First released back in 2005, Kerri Chandler's "Six Pianos" was initially inspired by Steve Reich's timeless, minimalist composition of the same name. The New York producer recognized the dancefloor potential of combining Reich's cyclical motifs and melodic movements with the hypnotic rhythms of house music. This tasty reissue kicks off with Chandler's brilliant original, before showcasing new reworks from Locodice and Stephane Ghenacia. The former's big room-friendly remix utilizes some elements from Chandler's melody-rich original, while offering up a far more rugged and mind-altering rhythm track. Ghenacia, on the other hand, chooses to successfully re-cast the track as a wavy chunk of wide-eyed Balearic deep house.
Review: Japan's TH Pressing imprint is hardly prolific, releasing just two 12" singles in its first three years of operation. That said, it rarely fails to impress, with last year's Wishes & Memories Volume 1 being particularly potent. Like its predecessor, this follow-up gathers together tracks from a quartet of producers. Life Recorder begins with the breezy and melodious, Soichi Terada style deep house bliss of "While She Dreams", before Ernie drops some quirky, dubbed-out dancefloor deepness in the shape of "Dynamic Workflow". Over on the flipside, Brad P explores deep space via the Motor City electronics, hypnotic rhythms and acid bass of "Grey Blue Passion", while Takuya Yamashita goes all Global Communication on the sparkling, early '90s ambient business of "Somewhere".
Review: Following one of his most active years to date - with releases on the likes of Slow Motion, Wake Up! and Barba, Dublin deepsmith Lerosa kickstarts 2017 with another on-point adventure on Idle Hands. As with a lot of Leopoldo's output, the vibe net is cast commendably wide as we kick off with the uptempo slightly Radioactivemanesque "Maryelen" and close down with a stripped back Basic Channel-style linear techno strutter "Subcouture". In between we have the wonderfully dubby disco charmer "Line Bass" and the more mystical, off-beat trip-out "Scruffy". Aces.
Review: Founded in 2014 by the fantastic French-producer S3A, this release follows releases by Byron The Aquarius, Neue Grafik, Cuthead and Henry L with an absolutely killer start to 2017. Vienna's Sam IRL is abck with more sultry deep house sounds on the Melting Memories EP. The Sampling As An Art imprint continues its ascension as one of the finest new labels in highly intelligent dancefloor sounds. The title track is testament to this, "Forward (Interlude)" goes for some dusty hip
-hop dopeness and "Suave" merges sensibilites of both previous tracks wonderfully much like the Money $ex crew out of Berlin can. Final track "Calm" sounds vaguely familiar too: think Raw Cuts era Motor City Drum Ensemble.. and that's a compliment!