Review: Deep and sensual balearica on offer here from The Balek Band, brought to you by Beauty & The Beat - the in-house music label of the 'freeform psychedelic dance party' hosted in various east London venues over the years by Cyril Cornet, Jeremy Gilbert & Cedric Woo since 2005. The Balek Band are a French outfit - the side project of Vidock (Abstrack), accompanied by Samuel Creach (bass) & Zeppo (percussion). Together they create soundtracks for your perfect island dream as heard on "Tometsi", the deep down polyrhythmic spiritual entrancement of "Diconiels" .....
Review: Having previously blessed us with "Ocean Side" two years back, Benedek and Tom Noble return to Superior Elevation with two more Balearic gems. One for the night time, one for sunrise; "World Gruuv" hits the boogie spot with spiralling keys wandering freely up and down a tight shimmering synth-bass led groove. Meanwhile "Profesora" on the B brings us back into reality softly with its addictive percussive hook, aquatic backing and totally tropical taste. Imagine Art Of Noise on Claremont 56 and you're on the right route.
Review: The mysterious Bitter End return and its 'anonymous' controller is kicking off proceedings in a particular wonky mood. "Itchicrickitch" leads from the left foot with an off grid kick and bassline that gets all the wilier when the gutsy tribal cries weave into the mix for added intensity. "Princess (Ascension)" flips back to the label's more signature theme of outlandish funk as we're pumped from here to Jupiter and back on a synth driven disco piece that's laced with wry shades of highlife guitars and a rising hook that sucks you deeper and deeper into the groove. Bitter sweet.
Essential Paradise (feat Slikk Tim - Fred P Reshape) (6:57)
Mystery Of Fantasy (reprise) (2:34)
Mystery Of Fantasy (G Fantasy mix) (8:06)
120 Black Key Experiment (Continuation interlude) (2:48)
Review: Having decided to retire his long-serving Soul People Music label, Fred P has immediately replaced it with Perpetual Sound, an imprint he says will serve up a far more eclectic range of records. To mark the label's debut, the acclaimed deep house and techno producer has decided to reignite his Black Jazz Consortium project after a five-year hiatus. Up first is "Essential Paradise", delicious fusion of jazzy deep house and tech-soul whose spacey pads, bustling beats and Herbie Hancock synths come accompanied by some wild, unchained solos from keys player Slikk Tim. Elsewhere, attention will naturally fall on Mr G's sleazy, heavy and low-slung techno take on "Mystery of Fantasy", which is also available as a tasty, ambient style "Reprise" (all synthesized orchestral sweeps, warm bass and glassy-eyed electronics).
Review: Emmy Award-winning composer Jordan Lieb has previously proved to be a masterful maker of crackly, atmospheric deep house. We shouldn't be that surprised, then, that his latest mini-album for Scissor And Thread - the rather depressingly titled "Nothing Makes Me Feel (Good Anymore)" - is full of the stuff. The undoubted highlight for us is the poignant and melancholic title track, though for club plays you seriously can't beat the sub-heavy, R&B-sampling shuffle of the cut that follows it, "Street Emotion". You'll find more chopped-and-screwed vocal samples on the deep and chunky "Get Something", while "The Right Way" is a near perfect fusion of loved-up deep house musicality and laid back electro grooves. The New Jersey garage influenced "Hustle" and Dream 2 Science-esque "Golden Chains" are also superb.
Review: Blacks & Blues is a new name to 2000 Black, but the people behind the project are label stalwarts: Dego, Kaidi Tatham, Matt Lord (AKA Lordamercy) and vocalist Obenewa Aboah. With such talent on show, it's unsurprising that opener "Spin" - a cracking slab of broken-beat/soul fusion rich in military style drums, jazz-funk keys and summery vocals - is rather good. While dancefloor-friendly, the track feels loose, languid and tailor-made for outdoor parties. "Don't Know Why (Chant For Love)" is an even more lo-fi broken soul excursion (very Fatima), while "You Know The Feeling" recalls the jazz-funk-fired soulful club cuts of early 2000s broken beat heroes Bugz In The Attic.
Review: Couch Acid Recordings chief Paul Graham doesn't release many records, but what he does put out under the Booshank alias is invariably excellent. Graham's latest outing - a label debut for Butter Sessions that marks his first release for two years - is certainly quietly impressive. All three original tracks are melodious, atmospheric and evocative, with Graham wrapping attractive synthesizer lines and vintage ambient techno style electronics around fizzing drum machine rhythms (see ace lead cut "FTH" and sludgy closer "Come On Honey". The centrepiece is undoubtedly the chiming, mesmerizing ambient wonder that is "Andys", a track that Gonno brilliantly turns into a breakbeat-driven club stomper on his must-check B-side remix.
Review: Pepe Bradock's recent album "What A Mess!" might have been a cut-and-paste collage of weirdo track fragments, occasional rhythms and spaced-out ambient aesthetics, but the veteran Parisian producer is still capable of crafting killer dancefloor cuts when he feels like it. This weirdo deep house two-tracker proves as much, with A-side "Peeped Booths" offering a near perfect fusion of hypnotic bass, locked-in grooves, ultra-deep riffs, angular electronic noises and strange vocal samples that have been manipulated within an inch of their lives. It's more than a bit good. "Klezmorim Telepathique" sees Bradock raise the tempo and intensity via a bumpin' fusion of panicked electronic motifs, paranoid bass and fizzing synthesizer flashes.
Review: Pressed For Time did a great job of unearthing British deep house cult heroes BRS with the Situation E.P. last year, and now they're back with another slab of high grade club tackle from this criminally overlooked outfit. "Devil's Music" is a luscious, easy-paced groover that drips with honey-coated synth lines to make you go "hmmmm." Pressed For Time regular YSE knows what's up, nudging the track into a headier deep house zone that would go down perfect in a woozy, smoke filled late hour of the party. "Better For That!" is a cheeky little organ laced number that straddles the deep house and minimal shuffle crowds with its sharp, snappy arrangement. Then Goshawk lands a killer remix of "Out Of Reach" which heads into freaky, swinging territory for the cool cats to get loose to.
Review: The Dessert Island Discs series continues with yet more arch remixes from across the disco and boogie spectrum. Bubbles The Pimp kicks off the A side with a tasteful treatment of Gil Scott Heron's "Winter In America," which gets rustled up into a sweet and sassy house number with a cheeky acid b-line underneath. Nelly Wilson whips up a storm on the tightly clipped, peak time-oriented "Trapped & Confused". Pierre Pressure's "Love & Beyond" takes it easy on the B side with plenty of fluttering synth wobbles to offset the choppy funk of the guitar - it's a cosmically enhanced floor burner to get you all astral under the collar.
Review: Tom Noble's Superior Elevation label started life as a home for reissues of obscure disco and boogie material, but has since widened its remit to include original productions. Here, Noble welcomes fellow Brooklyn resident Willie Burns to the label for a spot of sweaty, basement-bothering house business. Intriguingly, Burns original - nestled on the flipside - is the looser of the two, with dexterous percussion hits accompanying restless drum machine hits and a killer, New Jersey influenced bassline. Noble chooses not to emphasize these disco elements, instead delivering a wild, low-slung, dub style reinterpretation that turns it into a surging, late night house stomper.
Mark De Clive Lowe - "Wondering Who" (Nautz L8 Nite edit) (6:56)
Motomitsu - "La Musique" (6:23)
Brandon Williams - "Twenty-One" (feat Jon Dixon & De'Sean Jones) (5:17)
Loftsoul X Soul-T - "Sol Origin" (feat Andy Compton) (7:02)
Review: Detroit's MotorCity Wine has established itself as the go0to space for all of the soulful, broken beat, and deep sounds on the house music spectrum. For their 4th 12" they tap in a cast of locals and friends from across the globe for this 4 track EP. Mark de Clive0Lowe kicks things off with "Wondering Who", a bassline0driven broken0beat inspired electronic funk workout, before Motomitsu goes Marianas Trench deep with "La Musique". On the flip Brandon Williams, Jon Dixon, & De'Sean Jones deliver "Twenty0One", a sublime piece of hi0tech jazz for the soulful heads. Loftsoul & Soul0T round out the EP with "Sol Origin", a sub0heavy Shelter0esque track featuring Andy Compton on electric guitar.