Review: Kenny Glasgow & Jonny White aka Art Department came bounding into the spotlight with their huge hit "Without You" on Crosstown Rebels last year. Enlisting the vocal services of musical prodigy Seth Troxler on their second release, "Living the Life" is a smart move considering the massive popularity of Troxler right about now. Introduced with a warped and dark Troxler vocal, indecipherable and eerie, it leads into a sensual drum beat which is instantly captivating. Crisp claps and a mellow synth line are integrated bit by bit and once layered, the elements working together make for a downtempo delicacy. The ABA "Therapy Version" is equally alluring, dreamily extending the vocals and meandering smugly along. Whilst it doesn't have the smash and grab of "Without You", it falls effortlessly into a more mature and intriguing category. This is exactly what Art Department needed to do with their second release on CR, instantly diminishing any one hit wonder categorization.
Review: Absurd Recordings maintain the standards laid down with the Tin Man & Donato Dozzy shaped brilliance of their first Acid Test release in premiering the sounds of Achterbahn D'amour. A new collaborative project between Iron Curtis and Edit Piafra, it sees the duo explore the jerked out stripped down end of the Chicago House spectrum with the sprawling stuttering acid twirl out of "Talking Acid" a definite highlight. On the flip the heroic Idjut Boys deliver two remixes of "Your Love" which hit the spot with H bomb aplomb. The guttural bass aesthetics of the spinal "Version House" proves to be a nice counterpart to the floating 303 brilliance of the "Version Acid". Free d/l code of all tracks included too!
Review: Relative number five arrives with the ever excellently named John Swing at the helm for his first solo endeavour, delivering three diverse tracks that will delight all you Livejam freaks. Head straight for the A Side "The Live Experience", a rough analogue jackathon that's prepped with the best break since Bakey USTL's schizoid "A Tender Place". As you'd expect "A Bit Of Jazz" is built around a horn sample, but it resides deep in the mix, sounds kind of desperate and is engulfed by crisp 808 rhythms and off kilter vocal harmonies. Switching up the approach again, "Rollin" twists inside out as it progresses, commencing with a huge throbbing bass drum which constantly trades places in front of your face with an expansive rattling rhythmic rollercoaster of percussion - epic techno sounds!
Review: Whatpeopleplay launch their label endeavour with style, revisiting one of last year's breakthrough tracks and enlisting some A List production talent to remix it. La Fleur's "Flowerhead" worked due to its simplistic intent to start as it meant to proceed, twisting that distinctive uplifting piano melody around a big kick-filled groove, whilst a cut up vocal reverberated around your cerebral cortex. Buzzin Fly and Rekids producer extraordinaire Spencer Parker excels in remixing the track, stretching it out into a full eleven minutes of jacking tech house, using all his expertise to cover the distinctive vocal lead in a filtered melodic sheen that lends the track a whole new sound.
Review: Berlin-based Booka Shade (Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier) leapt to the forefront of the dance music realm in 2005 with their singles "Body Language" with M.A.N.D.Y. and "Mandarine Girl". Their debut full length Memento followed and it's safe to say that we've all been totally captivated since. Here, the duo rework their single "Scaramanga", taken from the recent album More! with remixes from Reset Robot and Dusty Kid. Booka's Manga Mix leads us in with a bouncy yet hollow beat and soothing vocals; it winds elegantly through percussive corners and low slung chords, culminating in two distorted breaks sure to move any floor. Reset Robot take the reigns on the A2, with an immediate house take. The vocals are kept but claps, shakers and synth lines have been plucked apart and layered back down with some serious movement in mind. Flipping over, Italian Dusty Kid sticks to his inimitable style, taking the listener on a sensual journey injected with minimal influences that manage to get deeper than most.