Review: Unsurprisingly, Above Smoke has long been closely associated with his brother Dubbyman's Deep Explorer label, and so it figures that the Spanish artist is releasing his debut album close to home. For those unfamiliar with the sound of Deep Explorer, think of the warmest, soul-inflected deep house rich with natural instrumentation as much as electronic elements and you should have an idea. On the album format Above Smoke has space to branch out into some refined neo soul excursions such as "Don't Stop (Till The Morning)" featuring Kikone's stirring vocal, but as ever it's the exemplary house music that truly defines this album.
Review: Omar S presents this remastered reissue of the 1979 album by this Singaporean disco band led by Ardo Guerzo and Jeremiah Star on his revered FXHE imprint. The name of the band is an acronym of their first names respectively. They mixed disco and salsa in their hit "Classical Salsa". They covered the Ohio Players' classic hit "Sweet Sticky Thing" and they named their 1976 released album after it. Star was also in the short lived Funkgus outfit which is worth checking out, if you can find it! A true diggers delight for those that knew it seems, but now brought to a wider audience, thankfully. Originally on Baal, a UK label founded in the mid '70s by Jay Shotam of October Cherries. The original Baal label was founded in Singapore by his band in the late '60s until it became defunct in 1980.
Review: Some 18 months after it appeared on Amp Fiddler's ace "Amp Dog Knights" LP, "Keep Coming" is given the remix treatment by a quartet of hugely talented producers. The headline rework comes from Ninja Tune signee Jayda G, whose effortlessly soulful version not only makes great use of the Detroit veteran's brilliant vocals and keys, but also flits between smoky deep house and sweaty, percussive madness. Elsewhere, Jahn Cloud and Meftah offer up some sweet post R&B beats, Julian Dyne re-casts it as a Latin-tinged chunk of beatdown brilliance and Brenk Sinatra does his best impression of Motor City beat-makers Platinum Pied Pipers.
Review: Mario Miranda aka Asterix Music hails from Carson, California and this is his debut, a banging little 7" by the name of Stud. Oh yes, super fitting, indeed! Out through Firehouse Sound Labs, the EP opens with the funky-ass boogie bass of "She'll Take U Down", a killer dance floor burner for the party vibes. On the B-side, "First Date" drops some heavy electro swings over sweet, seductive r&b vocals.
Review: Battista, John Swing and EMG's first hook-up under the SPS moniker - the thrillingly hard-to-pigeonhole Sintomi Di Gravita 12" - was arguably one of 2014's most slept-on records. Here they join forces for round two, delivering another two tracks that neatly sidestep the accepted norms of house and techno. A-side "Movimento (Consico Mix)" is a wonky chunk of well-swung, jazz-flecked deep house, smothered in filters and tipsy chords. Flip for the Inconsico Mix of the same track, a brilliantly far-out fusion of odd electronics, glitchy rhythms, shimmering synths and bubbling found sounds. It's hardly dancefloor-centric, but it's certainly really, really good.
Review: Ohio born producer John Roberts returns under a different pseudonym named Body Four on his own Brunette Editions and follows up last years Plum LP under his birth name, as well as two previous full length outing on Hamburg label Dial: namely his stunning debut Glass Eights. On this self titled album under the alias, Roberts once again utilises both electronic and acoustic sources, merging both classical and dance music influences, as well as some some experimental and musique concrete approaches on what could be his most challenging album yet. Overall the opus' lo-fi and tape saturated aesthetic adds to its atmosphere, as jagged junkyard rhythms thump around beneath layers of dust and his gritty sound sources writhe in low-bit sample rates and endless layers of time based effects. At times gentle or subtle and rather quite abrasive at other times, all in all this collection of tracks (which on average come in at around a couple of minutes) cover a great variety of moods and grooves.