Review: It's been a long time coming, but Julio Bashmore's debut album, Knockin' Boots, is finally here. With releases on Dirtybird, Futureboogie, and mixes for Mixmag and FM radio, the hat loving Bristol producer has come a long way throughout the last five years. Knockin' Boots is a ten-track blend of soulful house and minimal-edged bass music, with the title track itself being something of a Chicago stomper. There's plenty of sublime sampling within Bashmore's house servings, such as on the excellent and discofied "Hold On" featuring Sam Dew, "What's Mine Is Mine", and the juke-inspired "Bark". The LP also verges on the pop end of things with tunes like "For Your Love" or "Rhythm Of Auld", and it's simply a pleasure to play from beginning to end. Bashmore coming through diverse and explosive, as per usual. Ya need.
Review: Leron Carson may not be the best-known Midwest producer, but he has history. Carson's first release came way back in 2001, with Theo Parrish putting out a track he'd recorded way back in 1987 and has appeared on Sound Signature intermittently over the years. This new 12" from Carson for Theo's label is HEAVY! "Lemonline" is a deliciously breezy concoction, with Carson's jazzy piano riffs working in perfect unison with bouncy, Latin-influenced drum rhythms. Flipside "Sofnthik", on the other hand, sounds like a previously unheard 1980s Chicago deep house concoction, with warm, loved-up chords swirling around a clattering drum machine groove. Whether it was recorded 30 years ago is unknown, but it certainly boasts a similar lo-fi, analogue feel.
Review: Red Motorbike rider Eddie C takes off his highway code approved helmet and dons his much heavier headgear for a trip into outer space: "Solaris" is a twinkling odyssey that, if you didn't know who was behind it, you'd bet your house was of Norwegian origin. "Flying Blue" retains the cosmic vibe but more in a spiritual sense as flutes flutter over percussive congas and more disco-influenced bass/kick combo. Finally Move D adds a deep, chuggy tech twist of Eddie's 2013 album track "La Palette" for added 3am dynamics.
Review: London based South African Esa continues the rich vein of form he triggered on his Dekmantel debut with this unique and refreshing EP on Endless Flight. Powered by loose limbed breaks and peppered with alluring, rippling African rhythms, sounds and melodies, the whole EP flicks and flares like we're still in the peak of summer: "Son Op" snaps and bubbles in mid 90s feel that wouldn't have gone amiss on Northern Exposure, "Bra Hugh" shimmers with a little tropical charm and a soothing velvet 80s Miami feel while "London Mix" is the most direct party jam with its strutting breaks and boogie style bass. Need a little contrast? Jump on the Beesmunt Soundsystem mix for some dark slo-mo tribal fun.
Review: One for the Sam Shepherd completists here; the 2015 debut Floating Points LP, Elaeina, now available in US import edition via David Byrne's Luaka Bop label. We've been waiting on this one since "J&W Beat" six years ago; there's something about Floating Points sound that instantly lends itself to full-length album immersion. It's clear he feels this way too; using the album to delve deeper into electronic deconstructions and delicate ensemble arrangements. At its most adventurous and contemporary classical "Argente" is up there with Frahm, at is dreamiest and jazz-influenced "For Marmish" is a deeply cosmic affair with disparate chords making more sense than they perhaps should. At its most traditional Floating Points we hit the finale "Perotation Six" where the brushed drums are buried under layers of sound and elements in a way that's not dissimilar to Radiohead. Well worth the wait.
Review: After bringing his drumming skills to the Lifted project for PAN, Jeremy Hyman pitched up on Future Times late last year, contributing an impressive cut to the Washington D.C label's Vibe 3 compilation. Couch is his first solo 12", and a quietly impressive one at that. In typical Future Times fashion, the title track bristles with glassy-eyed positivity, thanks in part to Hyman's layered, contrasting melodies, rubbery groove, and starry electronics. The track's "everything but the kitchen sink" feel is retained on the sparkling, Japanese electro-influenced flipside cut "Occupy Crawlspace", while closer "New Edition" should probably be described as "bonkers but brilliant". An assured debut, all told.
Review: Last year, 4Lux man Gerd reissued "Afterglow", a record he made in 1992 while part of obscure Dutch trio It's Thinking. "Hyperion" was the 1994 follow-up to that inspired EP, so it makes perfect sense that he's giving it a new airing, too. It's aged rather well, with superb title track "Hyperion" delivering a deliciously warm and loved-up blend of colourful electronics, dream house chords, rich bass and house-tempo breakbeats. The sparkling "Frame of Mind" sounds like "Chime" and "Belfast"-era Orbital after a night on medical grade happy pills, while "Love Without Sound" peppers a positive techno groove with all manner of shimmering synth sounds. "Funky Finger", meanwhile, is an awesome chunk of saucer-eyed ambient techno bliss.
Review: Since returning to action a couple of years back following a near two-decade hiatus, 1990s deep house survivor Ewan Jansen has barely put a foot wrong. With this in mind, it's perhaps unsurprising to find that this outing on IILE is packed full of evocative, melodious and floor-friendly gems. The Australia-based producer begins in confident mood via the darting synth bass, sun-kissed chords and melodious positivity of the wonderful "Reefing 101", before exploring slightly deeper pastures on the huggable warmth of Motor City influenced bumper "The Blackhawks". On the flip you'll find the Larry Heard style lusciousness of "Twinpole" and "Swarbourne", a jazzy and percussive workout smothered in deep space chord progressions. All killer and no filler: job done.
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: Following his well-received 12" comeback "Analog Love" last year comes another sterling composition from Detroit veteran Alton Miller with the honeyed dulcets of singer Ree who comes on a strong like a young Amp Fiddler over Miller's restrained smooth chords. Flip for an immense immersive Reedub where the vocals become sweet textures in a more freeform organ-led jam before fellow Detroiter Patrice Scott closes the show with a deep and dreamy refix. All the little things are adding up right here.
Review: Originally conceived as a mixtape dedicated to friends inspired by afterhours parties, Anthony Naples second full length album Take Me With You 'quickly morphed into a soft focused meditation on all things warm and intangible'. The NYC by way of Florida producer was said to be inspired by influences as diverse as Suzanne Ciani, Panda Bear, Arthur Russell and Holger Czukay - which gives you an idea of how diverse and leftfield this collection of tracks are. Highlights include the cosmic dub freak-out "Goodness", the loved-up illbient vibe of "Tango", the first-wave Chicago house inspired interlude "Shredder" and the heart-warming/glassy eyed ambience of "Worldwide" among many others.
Review: Theo Parrish lays down a marker for a long overdue fifth album, apparently due out later this year, with the sublime Footwork 12". Named in reference to the dance as opposed to the breakneck offshoot of Ghetto House, "Footwork" is a sublime slab of Theo with many of his trademark production touches. Think lightly brushed percussion, meandering bassline that juts out with an odd funk, and subtle yet sumptuous musical touches, all topped off by a gruff "let me see your footwork baby" croon. Those Theo fans out there that like the man to get a bit rugged will be all over "Tympanic Warfare" too, where off the grid polyrhythms cannon around the channels, augmented by an ugly bassline and dexterous keys.
Review: John Mateo and Eddie Matos, the duo first appeared back in the early 90s under the Raw Elements alias, have both been involved in a significant number of projects over the years; 2 Trax, Division 1, House Faze and Mateo & Matos are just some of the monikers they've used, and it's no wonder they've been so successful given just how future-proof their strain of house music is. Flash Forward, the nifty Italian reissue stable, drops their debut EP from 1992, the timelessly sublime Raw Basics, a powerful three-tracker that cannot be improved on by any new form of house. The title tune, "Raw Elements", carries a painfully addictive groove with only subtle nods to the 'soulful' sound, and it's just one of those chunky bangers that will please any dancefloor goer. On the flip things are equally delightful, with "Deep Inside" offering a dubbier shade of 4/4, charged by ethereal synths and heartical percussion, while "Lost In Time" bangs out a garage-friendly house blast with all sorts of watery influences coming through. If you're looking for THE House EP to churn out this summer then you've struck gold.
Review: Melbourne artist Retza's star remains in the ascent as he touches down on fellow deep-down-under HQ Lo-Fi-45 with two more delicate and beautiful house grooves. "Eta Carinae" takes us on an astral trip with lilting keys and subtle strings while "Polar" applies the breaks for a more broken, introspective journey into the shadows of the dance where warm bass and warped textures await. Remix-wise "Eta Carinae" goes under the knife twice: Pezzner adds a little glock-knocking bump while Matt Waters garnishes it with a soft focus haze. Arresting.
Review: Hungarian producer Route 8 first joined Lobster Theremin in 2014 following a series of acclaimed singles for labels such as Nous, Bokhari and Farbwechsel. A couple more releases for imprint and distribution outfit followed, before he surprisingly fell off the radar. Come Home is his first EP for almost two years; predictably, it's really rather good. We're really rather enjoying the rush-inducing warmth and positivity of opener "Come Home", where chanted, delay-laden vocal samples and sultry Latin trumpet solos drift across a sumptuous deep house groove, and the electrofunk-sampling thrust of deep gospel house bumper "FunFun". That said, both "Turning Point" (a deep and spacey breakbeat house number) and the rolling, riff-heavy late night shuffler "From The Valley" are also superb.
Review: Better Listen's latest signing is dusty-fingered producer Saint Paul, who impressed us greatly with his debut single on Moonrise Hill Material this time last year. There's a wonderfully summery feel throughout, starting with the lilting horns, fluttering flute loops and Brazilian disco-flecked deep house shuffle of superb title track "Naturist Behaviour". Other highlights include the elongated, alien-sounding synthesizer lines and squeezable deep house/jazz-funk fusion of "A Hawaiian Trip" and the suitably deep, soulful and heady warmth of "Feels Good". He's also included a tasty '80s boogie/soul revision entitled "Tell Me", which sounds like the kind of glassy-eyed jam you'll be hearing an awful lot at outdoor parties this summer.