Roger Van Lunteren - "On And Dna No (The Sun Riser)" (5:06)
Phil Gerus - "Prelude To Love" (4:37)
Review: The XXX crew are on a mission to celebrate the adventurous and utterly well-informed dance music scene of Amsterdam, and they move to the fourth release on their label with a strong cast of characters that all have something different to say. Alterleo opens up the 12" with the low-throbbing psyche out of "Train To..." before Al Gobi takes over with the aqueous hardware house bubbles of "Rule Of Three". On the B side, Jack Pattern & John Parsley work together to lay down a fierce blend of industrial and disco that will send shivers down your spine. Roger Van Lunteren meanwhile revels in the squelchiest kind of esoteric acid with a new age mystique thrown in for good measure, and then Phil Gerus provides a soothing soliloquy to finish this distinctive record off.
Ed Ed & Petja Virikko - "Sundroina" (feat Jinadu - Jimi Jules remix) (7:18)
Review: Zurich based DJ and producer Jimi Jules is one of the most promising upcoming artists within the international underground. With previous releases on top labels like Superfriends, Cocoon and local imprint Zukunft - he tops all that by being picked as selector for esteemed Berlin institution Watergate's 24th mix album. Here we get treated to a few exclusives from the mix on special vinyl format: on the first side we have Jules & Jesaya's +4 BPM Update of Ame's "119 BPM", there's also his collaboration with Domenico Ferrari on the sleazy lo-slung pop of "Parkuhr". On the flip, we soon discover its almost entirely a Jimi Jules affair (naturlich!) with his remix of Swiss/German duo Egopusher's "Flake" (venturing into truly sublime territory) and the dreamy and bittersweet tones of Ed Ed & Petja Virikko's "Sundroina" (feat Jinadu).
Review: Crew love is true love: Beste Freunde 05 is upon us and it's not likely to hang around. Once again it's a whole new collective of like-minded souls together for a fresh expedition. Anil Aras leads the mission with a rippling Detroitian understated number simply called "Track 1". He's flanked by Paolo Rocco and Moises. The former ups the temperature and gets us in a lather with the insistent pace of "Ill" while the latter sooths our souls and oils our joints with the slippery hypnosis session "Easy Beauty". Finally Esposito & Nadje run point with the heaviest tool of the trip - the bubbling technoid "HBP". Friends till the end!
Cody Currie - "As Of Yet" (feat Joel Holmes) (5:09)
Grant Nelson - "In The Dark" (5:59)
Pontchartrain - "Don't Change It Up" (5:43)
Goddard - "Almasti" (6:11)
Review: With such a star-studded line-up of old and new talent involved, it's little surprise to find that De La Groove's fourth vinyl release is seriously good. It's that good, in fact, that there's no space to go into each and every highlight. Instead, we'll point you in the direction of some of our personal favourites. Check first the breezy and soulful US garage revivalism of Art of Tones' impeccable "So Sweet", before turning your attention to the dreamy, vibraphone-laden deep house sexiness of Cody Currie's "As of Yet (featuring Joel Holmes)". Grant Nelson's "In The Dark" is a fine slab of late '90s style UK garage, while Goddard's "Almasti" sounds like a nu-disco era riff on Pepe Bradock deep house classic "Deep Burnt".
Review: Dungeon Meat's self-titled label is not known for its subtlety, and so it goes on this rip-roaring various artists 12" featuring three rough and ready jams for the peak time house crowd. Blunt Instruments get things going straight away with the mean New Jersey swing of "Kum On", as tough and bumping a house cut as you're ever likely to find. Ron Obvious steps up with "Mindful Vision", bringing an utterly addictive stripped down garage-y shuffle to the table, while Per Hammar finishes the EP off with the breaks-embellished "BX Chamber", a freaked-out dub-soaked affair for the heads down crowd.
Body In The Thames - "Silver Threaded Crystal Beads" (6:02)
Peach - "Silky" (7:13)
Jay - "Balsam Drum" (6:30)
Webstarr - "The Muse" (7:02)
Review: Midland's Graded launches a new diffusion imprint: Intergraded. Featured here are four cuts from emerging producers. With Graded now focusing on the label boss's solo work and ReGraded catering to a different style altogether - the logical progression was to start a new label that could help introduce this music to a wider audience. Body In The Thames kicks things off on the A side - despite the name he's actually Swedish. His track "Silver Threaded Crystal Beads" is an emotive piece that sits somewhere between early Detroit techno and electro, in the vein of the Motor City godfather Juan Atkins. This is followed by the slinky tech house of "Silky" by London's Peach - a sturdy number supported by ethereal elements. On the flip, NTS host Jay (Siren) presents some moody, heads down techno for the late night on "Balsam Drum" while Yorkshire native Webstarr (De Grey/Mistry) goes deep into the afterhours on the darkly hypnotic "The Muse".
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: Pretty much anything Call Super has touched in recent years has turned to gold. This new collaboration with Parris is no different: it is a self-released project with a fictional backstory involving an ageing writer called Mortise Koshimitsu who lived in a small apartment. The music itself is uptempo but deep, with shimmering wooden hits gliding on elastic drums as ambient synth beauty bleeds into the spaces left behind. "Majenta" is a more cavernous and dreamier track that is as good for home listening as it does for tasteful dancing.
Review: While Pheek may have been in operation for as long as anyone can remember within minimal house and techno, Cleymoore has been most productive more recently thanks to his Pluie/Noir label. Following on from last year's Seikou single on Xquisite, here Cleymoore and Pheek link up to deliver some densely packed, production rich jams that keep the spirit of mid-00s clicks and cuts alive. The beats themselves may be slender slices that carry the energy of the tracks, but it's all in the infinitesimal details in between that the true magic of this music comes alive.
Review: Just when you think Pepe Bradock can't take us to new plains, along comes a new alias with a new vision. Raw futuristic jazz is the theme (as is often the case with Pepe) as we're eased in nicely with harmonic broken shuffles of "Willplayasong4u" before being plunged into trippy data chirps on "KM Zero" and square-pushing oddities on "@#$*?! Square Tones". We come out the other side learned and woken the jitterbug, sample-heavy psychedelic bump-funk of "Pepe XXX". 24th century business.
Giovanni Damico - "No Al Maltrattamento Dei Samples" (5:29)
Pascal Viscardi - "La Ragazza Del Lago" (6:19)
Marcello Napoletano - "Insignami" (6:55)
Lucretio - "I Piu Piccoli" (6:33)
Christian Lisco - "55" (5:02)
Paolo - "Pericolo" (5:20)
Bassa Clan - "Notte Brava" (6:57)
Fede Lng - "La Volpe" (4:58)
Review: According to La Chinerie themselves. after repping their dear home of France on the first volume, they are 'this time enlightening Italy's house scene through an eclectic V/A gathering eight tracks from eight talented macaronis.' Southern Italy represents in the form of Salerno's Giovanni Damico with the funky and dusty soul heaven of "No Al Maltrattamento Dei Samples" while Lecce's finest Marcello Napoletano delivers the goods as always on the gritty house shenanigans of "Insignami". Elsewhere, there's Restoration's Lucretio (via Berlin of course) delivering some muscular, hardware oriented grooves on "I Piu Piccoli" while the north of The Beautiful Country represents too, rest assured, in the from of Bologna's Bassa Clan with the bouncy and swinging NYC circa '94 vibe of "Notte Brava".
Review: Ovine build on the momentum of their first EP with another new house offering that is beautifully deep. It features two tracks each from Dan Piu and Pohl, and they all hack back to dreamy Italo, classic Mr Fingers and the more pensive Chicago greats. "Depresismatica" is a real highlight with its meandering basslines and infinite cosmic horizons. "Mello Phone" offers more pixelated melodies and busy beats and "Space In The Distance" has the sort of freaky edges and dusty analog textures house lovers always fall for. Already, then, this is a label that is setting a high standard.
Review: Hot damn! Fresh Chicago booty action from legends of the genre on the fifth outing from the increasingly on-point Albion label! Here we have the legendary Dance Manian Dj Lil' Tal with "Questions", which sees the producer give up some of his classic ghetto sound with the usual bag of kinky vocal samples, while Phran's "Nexxxt" is rawer, nastier and more punishing while still keeping the vocal shots. Legend Traxman looses the plot on the bumpy "Get High", and the mysterious DJ Handsome sways and swings among bleeps on the aptly named "Pop Yo Pussy".
Sleazy McQueen & Vinyl Addicted - "Hot To Trot" (5:41)
Patchworks - "Batracien" (5:08)
Le Blanc - "We Can Fly" (4:40)
Review: Detroit/Houston joint venture Kolour are back with another instalment in the Tale Of Two Cities series - and this is one serious all star cast if we've ever seen it! The creme de la creme of nu-disco appears here, starting with crazy Canadian Eddie C kicking off the A side with the sunny slo-mo antics of "All Time Freak", followed by the one and only Napoleon! Simon Mills throws down some more of his usual sexy and lo-slung grooves on "Over & Done". On the flip, current scene favourite - the Whiskey Disco boss Sleazy McQueen teams up with Vinyl Addicted on a seriously hot edit of an underground classic (to those that know) on "Hot To Trot" while Lyon's Patchworks hands in another similarly 'respectful edit' on the sultry late night blues of "Batracien". Finally they head down under (to Adelaide, Australia that is!) for Le Blanc's funked up disco house jam "We Can Fly".
Review: Hailing from France but now based in Tokyo, Jazzy Couscous is a label that explores all kinds of sounds pivoting around the axis of jazz and deep house, but keeping things wide open for variety and experimentation. Following releases from Brawther, Klodio and more besides, it's time for a hefty various artists release that shows off a whole heap of talent. Matthieu Faubourg keeps thing pumping and Detroit-flavoured on "A Long Way", while Drezb smooths things out to a Chez Damier-influenced deep house groove. Pascal Viscardi gets things properly jacking on the deep-diving "Digital Illusion", and then the record closes out with the blissful ambient excursion of Midori featuring Victor Santoni's "Distance".
Review: Peculiarly, Fasaan offshoot Chalice has lain dormant since the label's first release appeared in stores back in 2014. Happily its Swedish parent label has decided to pull out all the stops for this comeback 12", gathering together six tracks from artists based across Europe and beyond. At six tracks deep there's not enough space to go into detail about every track, but suffice to say they're all loose, warm, quirky and generally lo-fi in feel. Highlights include the dreamy analogue synth-funk of Ruf Dug's "Cassette Boogie", the poignant, emotion-rich synth-wave warmth of Fahcrur Riaz Hazbullah's "Muriam", the clicking beats and intergalactic synth flourishes of "Heina" by Ruutu Pois and the frankly foreboding loose-house creepiness of "II Y A" by Dublin's Compassion Crew.
Review: Cong Burn is a new label that features a range of producers plying a more interesting twist on the standard deep house formula. Take opening case in point Haddon, who uses oodles of processing to create a slippery, shifting tripper out of "Not Coming To The Club" and instantly stepping aside from the run of the mill milieu. Howes then pops up with the snaking, ultra-deep electro abstractions of "Untitled". L Pearson is in a particularly cheeky mood with the scratchy micro-sampling fun of "PSR1170", calling to mind the crafty chops of Paradroid et al, and then Perfume Advert book end the release with some beautifully horizontal deep house for the subliminally minded to revel in.