Review: Vinyl Only reach their seventh release with a fresh grip of lesser known producers bringing high grade grooves to the table. Bubbadog opens the 12" up in a woozy fashion with the warbling piano chords of "Goin' Round", capturing a time-slip mood that carries through to the dusty jazz soaked beat down of Minus The Majors' "Strole On Through". On the B-side, Alex Zuiev gets into an exotic, chiming, 80s-inflected mood on "Down By The River", creating a slow-burning dancefloor heater out of classic ingredients. Ugly Frankie finishes the EP off with the stripped down funk of "Your Ears Look Great".
Review: It's a new Palham Music episode, people! The German label has been at the forefront of the house-techno underground for over ten years now, and thanks to releases by artists such as Lowtec and The Analog Roland Orchestra, among others, Dan Bust's imprint has always been given the respect it deserves. For their new, limited Purple Series, it's Cologne's Ugly Drums who comes through with his singular brand of funked-up dance music! "Scorpio Things Related" is a Theo Parrish Kinda tune - jittery percussion and sweet chords - while "Can't Take You Down is deeper and more cerebral thanks to its broken beat and lower-than-low-end! On the flip, "Spend With It" showcases some more of Ugly Drums' inimitable percussion flex, whereas "Stick With It" is pure soulful house magic. Ah, what a load of sweet cuts! Screen-printed jackets!
Review: The Drifted Flow label made an early move in 2015 with a release from Tommy Vicari Jnr, but now returns with an entirely different premise - an eight-track double pack of fresh, invigorating minimal house jams from lesser-known and adventurous producers. Henry Hyde gets the collection off to a strong start with the wobbly funk of "Perchin," all dirty bass wobble and loose swinging rhythms. Elsewhere Martinez flirts with the crooked thump of electro, Alicia Hush wriggles through an abstraction of garage and Bilal channels a little of the Boogizm magic you might expect from S-Max or Fym. Overall, it's a release loaded with personality and flair for minimal spinners wanting some spicier ingredients for their mix.
Blue Vulva & The Electronic Crooner - "Vulbitch Bazaar"
Review: Minuendo keep things interesting on this latest various artists 12", primarily focusing on Owen Jay and Brian James on the A side for two tracks of adventurous experimentation on the wild frontier of minimal house music. The wobbly synth running through "Niko's Groove" is a real head turner, while "Imagery" nudges the grand tradition of dub house into a new pocket of ambience that draws you in immediately. There's a lovely, classic deep house joint from Untitled called "Seafood", and then Blue Vulva & The Electronic Crooner completely flip the script on the B2 with rowdy acid burner "Vulbitch Bazaar".
Review: Plastik People are back with another volume of unmissable torch bearers for true-skool garage lovers to rejoice at. Things stride in bright and bold with "Mellow Mellow," which plays a dummy move with its trippy sound FX intro before ripping into a romping, sax-fuelled bumper courtesy of seasoned pro Sinan Mercenk. Templeton Peck takes things deeper on "Sweat Mix 2" - a forgotten gem from the golden age of 2-step. Meanwhile Uschi Classen makes things truly dreamy on the woozy but utterly funky "Take Me High," a seriously deep cut previously only available on white label.
Review: Representing Californian house music culture with its heart on its sleeve, 12 Inches Deep return for a second volume of "West Coast Dance Traxx" that features four up and comers from the underground. Ricky Tinez captures a perfect hazy summer mood on the dub mix of "That Day" - a true product of his environment. Akumen brings a sweatier vibe to "Inner Life (All Of Music)" which captures a little Chi-town pressure and then blows it wide open with some choice organ licks. Le Smoove is on a serious garage tip with "G Groovez" and Urbanite reaches skywards with the utterly infectious "Triple Filtered", spilling good vibes out from every angle.
Review: Belgian producer and owner of Entrepot Records, UC Beatz, is the next artist to appear on the San Jose label, Roundabout Sounds.
Coming out on vinyl only, the La Nuit EP features some sublime house, including my favourite track on the ep, Alta Paper, and a remix of the title track by Jeremiah of Grow! Records out of Vienna.
Roundabout Sounds which is now up to release number 14 with this ep, is the label run by Joe 'Babylon' Marougi, co-founder of Plug Research. The label released a great various artists triple vinyl package, Connecting The Compass, that featured such house luminaries Marcellus Pittman, Norm Talley and Theo Parrish, among others.
Review: Entrepot Records is a Brussels based imprint, founded in 2014 by UC Beatz - who some of you may know from his Underluxxe digital label The idea here is simple: to release raw house beats on wax. For their eighth edition the label chez himself takes on duties, with some fine slo-mo house grooves - perfectly suited to late summer nights. The A side features the lo-slung boogie down vibes of "Rainbows", but the real dancefloor burners belong to the flipside. The looped-up disco inferno "Playground" is covered in just the right amount of dust and grit that would make Phil Weeks stand up and notice, while the sultry "Nocturne" is a crafty edit of a fine vintage track that's rather familiar indeed.
Lebawski - "Clouds Of Thyme" (Kled Baken remix) (6:33)
Barbosa - "Quinoa" (Ray mono remix) (6:44)
Review: Ghent's Muzi Cartel crew step into the label game with this assured four tracker from promising emergent talents. Viktor Udvari is up first with "For Our Love", a fired up but delicately executed techno jam with plenty of harmonic balance to make for the most satisfying trip skywards. Mrsch takes things deeper and groovier on "Pas Cu Pas", leaning heavy on the bass and leaving a little more space in the mix for maximum meditation. Kled Baken's remix of Lebawski gets into a minimal house roll with spaced out licks of vocal and hazy pads, and Ray Mono nudges Barbosa's "Quinoa" into murky depths for a proper underground roller.
Review: For their fifth release, Ultra Knites welcome a new family member to the label - Turkish producer Ugur Project. Kicking off proceedings on the A side, "Feeling Deep" is a combination of traditional deep vibes, rolling basslines and subtle vocal snippets. "Works On Dope" truly lives up to the name of this EP with its sultry yet groovy feeling that radiates when it is played - reminiscent of the light , simple, yet also fierce feeling of house music of the early-mid 90's. On the flip, "Wanna Be" is a track reminiscent of the legendary Eddie Perez/Mentalinstrum combined with strong soulful vocals which will remind the biggest house junkies of the likes of Loleatta Holloway and such. "Detroit Groovin", with its thumping bass and simple yet effective chords really give it that real, raw Detroit feeling. In summary, this release shows quality on all fronts and is brought to you on 180g 12" vinyl.
Review: Ultra Knites return with their first release of 2014, the follow up to their debut from late last year which gained the duo much credibility and recognition from some of the scenes leading players. UKR002 finally sees the release of a 'Extacy', a track that has been in demand for over a year having been used as a 'secret weapon' in the duo's own DJ sets. It has been described as genius, but the formula is simple - a stabby rhodes riff accompanied by an infectious vocal hook while a cleverly filtered pad weaves in and out until eventually, the filters open and the track erupts. UK veteran Danny J Lewis steps up for remix duties - a personal inspiration to the pair since the mid 90's who delivers his own unique stamp on the track. "In My Life" takes things in another direction, however the duo's trademark sound remains instantly recognisable - throbbing basslines, filtered synth pads, ruffed up beats and a keyboard solo. Once again this EP has something for everyone and as always, we bring it to you on 180g vinyl.
Review: When Roger Sanchez donned the Underground Solution alias in 1990 and released "Luv Dancin", the New York producer had yet to become a household name. The single, long considered one of the producer's finest moments, quickly became a deep house classic, with DJs quickly gravitating towards the rich, Nu Groove influenced grooves, twinkling electric pianos and choice disco samples of the "In Deep Mix". This timely reissue also includes the other tracks featured on the original Strictly Rhythm release, including the even deeper and more loved up Egotrip mix and the brilliant "Afterthought", which expertly combines the haziness of NYC deep house with the alien melodies and dub-influenced low-end of UK bleep and bass.
Review: Second time around for Glenn Underground's '70s Trip, which first surfaced on Cajual Records way back in 1997. The title track, a hypnotic and mind-altering, bassline-driven peak-time smasher peppered with intergalactic noises, vibraphone style solos and darting synths, remains one of the long-serving producer's finest moments. The lesser-celebrated original B-sides are pretty darn tasty, too. Choose between the bumping deep house jazziness of "Disco Moog" - where spacey synth stabs dance all night with jaunty pianos and another killer bassline - and the rubbery bounce of "Do You Like It", which makes hay with cut-up, scat style vocal samples, dewy-eyed Rhodes chords and some more fizzing synth lines.
Review: Italian reissue experts Groovin continue to explore the vast vaults of outspoken Chicago house veteran Glenn Underground. The two tracks here are, naturally, both sought-after and obscure. On the A-side you'll find "Escuchame", a cut that originally appeared on a DJ Deep mix back in 2010. It's something of a driving, body-rocking beast, with the Windy City stalwart wrapping a jazzy electric piano riff (slightly reminiscent of Black Science Orchestra's "Save Us" and Lil' Louis' "French Kiss") and spacey synth flourishes around a thrusting drum machine rhythm and booming bass. Turn to the flip for the melodious and spacey deep house classic that is "Hi-Tech Soul", a previously digital-only track first released way back in 2008.
Review: Ever-dependable hero of deep house since the good old days, Glenn Underground is back with fresh goodies for his Strictly Jazz Unit imprint, and if you liked what he's done before then there's no doubt you'll like this as well. "Shiloh (A King's Return)" is a steady roller, defined by the synth-sax freestyling over the top of a crisp beat and bluesy chord workout. "We, The Party (Let's Get Down)" is a more soaring affair, with some neat kinks in the drums and a sumptuous spread of Rhodes action all delivered in that quintessentially Blue Note GU flavour.