Review: New York-based Evan Michael has been spotted on some respectable labels in the past, from Drumpoet Community to AirDrop, most recently appearing alongside Marco Passarani on a split 12" for Cin Cin. He makes his first appearance on the ever-prolific Hudd Trax with this diverse grip of deep house jams, leading in with the emotive tones of "Duende". "PCH Passing" is a fluttering affair laden with sweet natured synths, but it also knows when to rain the cascading melodies in to let the groove take the lead. "Machine Pepper" builds up around an on-point bassline and powerful brass stabs, and then "Rainmaker" finishes the EP off with some tricksy delay use and a crooked beat.
Review: Having sprung into action with the Sol Explorer EP on Girasole, William Caycedo is back with a new selection of jams on the ever-developing SlapFunk. As the label's remit for minimal house and techno broadens, we're treated to low slung leftfield beats on "Booty Call" before the peppier broken beat groove of "Ain't No Joke". "Creepin'" and "G Groove" head into more familiar territory for SlapFunk fans, but there's still space for the crisp, laid back funk of "Tales From The West" and the off-kilter jazzy vibes of "Yes We Do" thrown in for good measure.
Review: Sad City's debut album was an absolute delight to behold when it landed late last year, and this remix package on Emotional Response does a great service to the quality of the original by offering up some truly outstanding new versions from impeccable talent. DJ Nature is one of the greats of heads down, dusty house, and his smoky handling of "Steady Jam" draws you in across two blissful versions that adorn the A side. On the flip, "Pace, Movements I-IV" gets a beautifully bubbly acid treatment from HOLOVR, and Herron plunges "Rain" into a murky bath of leftfield techno.
Review: "Dj Sounds presents Captured, a 3 track EP for the house heads. Lazy is a ready-to-go exercice, easy to spin and fresh house track in its most classical yet very personal form, Captured is an intense Detroit oriented synth jam and Dj Beats is a short drum track reminding of the beat of track 1. That 001 is for the Djs who care about a fresh record of House. And those who like to dance."
Review: Following the excellent instalment from DJ Skull, Mentha continues to gather pace as a house and techno label of note with this sublime offering from Hakim Murphy. While the Chicago native may be known for some bruising hardware house and techno a lot of the time, he's showing his more sensitive side on this release with delicate tracks that head into deep techno waters. The title of the EP says it all, as nimble, expressive beats merge with soothing, aqueous pad tones for a most satisfying of listening experiences. Fans of early deep techno a la B12 and Stasis will find much to enjoy here.
Review: AntiDEEPressant is here to bring some positivity to your life by way of subliminal house music from the outer reaches. Vincent Inc is just the ticket to help deliver the good news, and his Abstract Life EP is loaded with soul-enriching vibes to get you through times of hardship. "Panic In Cosmos" is a fluttering, meditative melter that will coat your ears in honey on the way down, while "Rayskoye Mesto" takes an equally submerged approach that drifts further away from conventional beats into a beautifully executed, heavy-lidded excursion. "Mechta" sports a few more conventional house tropes, but keeps things varied and interesting just the same, and then "Jazz Night" rounds the EP off with some cracked piano lilt and soul infusions to cradle you on the way to the run out groove.
Review: The high grade, leftfield approach to house music Lyssna have set out as their MO continues in fine style on this new Colours series, starting with the Yellow EP and a strong cast of characters from the outer reaches. Riciar Ghir opens up proceedings with the tumbling deep house of "Cargo", making the keys dance with distinction and injection a subby rumble where it counts. Minimal Afrika follow that up with a percussive tryst entitled "Drakma Queen" that blossoms into a sumptuous ambient excursion. Robotalco takes a very different approach with some classically pumping sample-powered house music to shake feel-good fists to, and then Klubbhuset finishes up with an impassioned romp through peak time disco licks for the peak of the night.
Review: Vincent Inc's Manuscript Records continues to bolster its identity as a vinyl label after years in the digital domain with this crucial single from label founder Vincent Inc. "Wilder" is a seductive opening track that bubbles along on a bed of honey coated melodic tones that should sit easy on the ears of any day time dancer, while "Cold Winds" takes a more somber approach with bluesy keys and heartfelt vocals. "Dreams Of D&L" ups the energy levels with a strict drum set and spiritual melodic swells, and then "Sax Night" edges towards more experimental territory for the mind to happily trip out on.
Following the successful reception of klodio's debut EP, the Tokyo-based producer spent the year playing shows in Japan with various upcoming artists like Fulbert and label co-founder Alixkun, and taking part in disruptive events such as Pow Wow School of Music.
When klodio decided it was time to start recording his second EP, he took a slightly different direction, going from Techno-influenced Detroit House to House-influenced Detroit Techno. "Shinagawa Sunrise" is a fast-paced retro-futuristic Jazz jam which climaxes on a fantastic sax solo by the young and talented Ilia Skibinsky. Daiba goes a step further in this Techno journey, flowing from glowing, light, syncopated chords to a dark and aggressive atmosphere, and back again to the relaxing chords.
More polished, singular, deep, and yet aggressive than "Toktroit", "Rainbow Bridge EP" brings another stone in the Asia-infused universe that the French producer is bringing to the world of electronic music.
Review: In the third (and last) part of "So Many Ways Remixed" series we have yet another special set of heavyweights, delivering their own reinterpretations of Lay-Far original album tracks. Please welcome Kaytronik, D-Malice, Phil Asher and Red Rack'Em!
Kaytronik aka Karizma opens the EP with his Rub of "Yes You Can". Frankly speaking, from the very beginning of the project we were expecting something special from the Baltimore-based house guru, but the final result surpassed it all for us - what you're about to hear is a very soulful and deep dance number but with power and grit to shake large festival dance floors! Get ready!
On A2 the pro-active afro-house aficionado D-Malice (Defected, Soul Candi, DM.Recordings) delivers a percussion-heavy banger that will make you swing in no time. You know where it all began, don't you?!
The UK house legend Phil Asher kicks off the Side B with a remix of "Can't Deny", featuring Yannah Valdevit and Souled. Strong dance grooves is what Phlash has always been notorious for - this remix is another vivid example of the principle! Ain't no need to question the authority.
Last but not least we have the old pirate Red Rack'Em, delivering his trademark deep & dirty house sound with hints of Detroit and dub techno influences. A perfect soundtrack for a midnight voyage on a ghost ship or a basement party, maybe. Aye!
Review: Arvid Whetman has plenty going for him at the moment. As Sexazoid he's dropping all kinds of off-kilter machine beats on excellent labels like Born Free, while as Your Planet Is Next he builds on appearances on Junk Yard Connections, Waving Hands, Opal Tapes, Studio Barnhus and Klasse to deliver this chirpy four-tracker to Acid Waxa. From the twee vocals to the playful synths and straight up drums, this is club music crafted for an immediate hit. Whetman makes this approach work magnificently though, liberally applying his musical personality to lo-fi deep house and roughshod acid, with "Heartbreaker" being a firm favourite thanks to its fulsome 303 bassline and hooky vocal mantras.
Review: Newcomer Tom Dicicco aka Veyg presents an ear snagging selection of leftfield beatdowns here for adventurous spinners on the fringes of the party. "Mutual Romance" is a quivering, shimmering trip through crooked house beats and crunchy yet dubby synth flourishes to delight the mind. "Virgo Love Affair" has a sweeter lilt, but it's no less wayward in its execution, but then "Filling Pieces" heads into more explicit deep house territory with some blissed out melodic content riding atop a deep diving US-flavoured rhythm section. "How We Live" ramps up the meandering dub processing, with tripped out filter sweeps and panning lending a psychedelic edge to this smoked out joint.
Review: Italian artist Paul Santangelo has been having fun messing with the sometimes po-faced traditions of the house music scene through a raft of home made productions on SoundCloud, but now with his Venetian Causeway label he's able to prove the clout to be found in his music. On this 10" the arch title "Generic House Traxx" actually does a disservice to the quality of the music contained within - Santangelo does a fine job of whipping up monosynth bass and ethereal pads astride an uptempo beat that, while familiar, has an atmosphere with considerable depth to it. "Please Him" on the B side goes further out on a mellow electro tip, plaintive leads and aqueous chords flirting with 808-style beats.
Review: Marcel Vogel's Intimate Friends label welcomes a newcomer to the fold, with Hypoleon displaying a warm and inviting take on outboard, leftfield, electronic soul with a wavey edge to it. The vocals on the original tracks have a haunting edge to them thanks to some hefty processing, but the power in the delivery is undeniable. The tracks meanwhile channel acid, electro and minimal wave in understated ways, played out with a live band dynamic that hooks you in from the start. Jon McMillion's remix of "Tresberry" turns the track into a simmering 4/4 jam for the warm up heads to get loose to, while Tevo Howard brings some of his signature boxy acid to bear down on the track.
Review: After a string of releases for Omena, Transatlantyk and Studio Barnhus, Wroclaw-based Naphta delivers his first EP for Maciek Sienkiewicz's FASRAT label. This is house music like you've never heard before - loose, freaky, hippie, voodoo machine funk, highly infectious grooves for any modern dancefloor. As always FASRAT delivers also a stunning artwork - this time by renowned graphic designer Ania Goszczynska.
Review: The Sugarhouse label hits its fifth outing with one of the core members of the collective, Roy Rozell. For the first time Rozell is at the helm on his own, and he sounds completely at ease twisting out refined deep house meanderings for the soulful crowd. "Last Time Around" has a resplendent amount of live key flexing going on, and all the while a loose and limber rhythm section rolls out underneath. "Easy Easy" maximises on plastic trumpet tones and lets them freestyle over the top of a sunkissed, smoked out groove. "100 Percent" takes over the B side with pan pipe moods and synthetic string swells aplenty, making for a truly atmospheric deep house jam.
Two Thou - "Group Technology" (with Alberto Collodel)
Autre - "Cosmic Roots"
Two Thou - "SOL"
Autre - "Futura"
Review: The Fields & Forest label has so far aligned itself with the stellar Russian label Udacha, featuring Dices, A5 and Cuisine Dub, but things are taking a turn into new territory with the inclusion of Autre and Two Thou with two tracks a piece on this new slab of wax. Two Thou's "Group Technology" is a snappily shaped, 80s influenced groover with some interesting timbres falling into a dynamic groove, while "SOL" shows another side to the artist with a snaking slice of jazz funk infused experimental techno. Autre's "Cosmic Roots" is a more esoteric, new age gilded slice of ambient house while "Futura" ramps up the saucy synths for a silk-tongued charmer of a warm-up jam.
Vocoder So Sexy (Quad IBB's Funk-Trib original mix)
Vocoder So Sexy (instrumental)
Review: Donnie Tempo has only appeared once previously as Knu Je', and that was way back in 2001. Now the alias is revived on Sound Reflection in a shimmering, twirling expression of broken beat and boogie sensibilities for those who like their beats soul n' sun drenched. It's actually his Quad IBB alias that serves up the "original mix" of "Vocoder So Sexy", and it's nothing short of stunning. The rich layers of vocals cavort with the expressive key changes and sharply angled beats, making for a truly striking cut that sounds equally fresh in its instrumental form on the B side.
Review: For the first reference, Sounds of The City is happy to welcome the mysterious Spirit Of The Black 808, responsible for one of the hottest pieces of wax in 2013 for Eargasmic Recordings in Chicago. Invasion Of The Black Bass is also following the Eargasmic record in terms of style. It's warm in every way and infectious. Let's get invaded with Invasion of the Black Bass and Invasion of the Black House. Both tracks share the same chords grid, one could be a re-interpretation of the other. Both are very warm and melodic. Frenzy In Firenze on the other side demonstrates SB8's skills for groovy tools and more DJ oriented tunes.
Luke Solomon presents Jean Caffeine - "Jean Aftertought"
Point G - "La Lampe du Vizir Adjané"
Modal - "Lovers" (Roy Davis & Dj Skull remix)
Skymaster - "Final Link"
Lazare Hoche & Malin Génie - "Formes"
Nimbus Quartet - "Your House Is Yours"
Lazare Hoche & Malin Génie - "Session 2"
Unit T - "Mystery Tones"
Mandar - "Fouad"
Review: Lazare Hoche doesn't release that much music, but what he does put out is invariably excellent. Following a smattering of singles and an acclaimed collaborative album alongside Malin Genie - 2013's I Don't Sync So Volume II - he's decided to put together a compilation featuring his own productions and those by music industry mates. Access, then, is a lesson in warm and luscious deep house, with significant contributions coming from Luke Solomon (donning the Jean Caffeine guise on the dreamy and rolling "Jean Afterthought"), DJ Gregory's Point G project (the ultra-deep pulse of "La Lampe Du Vizir Adjane"), and pals Skymaster and Mandal. Hoche's own contributions rank amongst the compilation's highlights, with the title track delivering a pitch-perfect lesson in the seductive powers of dreamy, dust-encrusted deep house.
Review: Not An Animal Records was formed in 2015 out of the ashes of the London-based party Bad Passion, and has thus far welcomed the likes of Man Power, Ess O Ess and Eric Duncan to release on the label. Now they turn to James Hadfield, a relatively new producer previously spotted on To Rack & Ruin and Me Me Me. On this four-tracker he deals in brooding synthwave tones mixed with classic jack track rhythms. "Literate" is just the kind of taut, sinister club creeper we can't get enough of, while "Buried Answers" takes a skippier but no less moody approach. On the remix front, Jamie Blanco takes the prize, turning "Buried Answers" into a bombastic slice of driving synth pop.
Review: DJ Haus' ever-expanding deviant house music empire continues to impress with another installment of House Crime, this time committed by Szch. The 12" kicks off with the fast and freaky "Girl I Neva" which borders on juke levels of nagging sample chops, before the script gets crumpled up and tossed at the bin with the wonderfully scruffy rave deconstruction of "Peugeot 106 At Sunrise (Pingers Mix)". "Unconditional (Edit)" brings something a little smoother to the mix, although that underlying weirdness that comes with House Crime releases is still lurking in the wings. "UKLJUCEN TI JE BLUTUT" finishes the EP off in a rowdy yet reflective style - long may the strange tale of House Crime continue.
Review: Southern Moon is the first pre single of the upcoming Munk album and comes with remixes by HNNY (Local Talk) and Darius Syrossian (Hot Creations).. With its crisp house beat, funk baseline and beautiful singing of Lizzie Paige this track is a shiny little summersong that makes you think of the great production of Trevor Horn or Masters at Work with a new edge.
Review: Jef K's Silver Network springs a surprise on the label's followers with a slightly darker offering than fans may be used to. Part of Jef's ethos is to shake things every once in a while to avoid becoming stale, so he decided to sign this super fresh cut from Ludovic Vendi and Olive_R. 'Nosh' is a fidgety, morose production with unsettling beats and the constant mutter of voices lurking in the background.
Remix pressure comes from Jef's good friend, and owner of the excellent La Vie En Rose label, Terence :Terry: who, together with Spanish wonderkid Hanfry Martinez (Overall Music), drops a bouncing bomb of a track. Meanwhile, Yoshitaca, Japanese producer and boss of amazing label Fasten Musique Concrete, also turns in a dynamite rework full of flavour.
So we have three splendid versions of a track that serves as a perfect example of Silver Network's ability to push its own boundaries. Deep, dark and utterly delectable.
Review: Russian producer Kirill Sergeev has been setting light to the likes of Hell Yeah, Bordello A Parigi and Bahnsteig 23 in the past under his Kito Jempere alias, and now it's the turn of Pleasure Unit to get his unique treatment. "House Track" may seem like an innocuous title but don't be fooled, it's far from a conventional house jam. Loose, 80s tinted production vibes abound across the record, not least with the party heaters on the A side. "Never Been To Ibiza Beaches 1997" is a more laid back jam, but still sizzling with inventive energy, and "Jungle Mantra" explores tribal percussion with a fresh slant that will call out to the tropical spinners.
Review: Having built their reputation through 12" singles for the likes of Crosstown Rebels and Poker Flat, Dan Berkson and James What deliver their debut album, on their freshly minted imprint Modelmaker. Interestingly, Keep Up Appearances is an altogether warmer, melodious and more evocative set than you'd perhaps expect, with a smattering of rich downtempo cuts joining a solid selection of dancefloor-friendly deep house. You can hear a classic dub techno influence in cuts such as "Keep Up Appearances" and "Shadow Theory", while the acid-flecked, soul-soaked "Make It True" sounds like classic Osunlade. Best of all, though, are the more forthright efforts, with the ragged "Seraphim" standing out.
Review: Waze & Oddysey's W&O Streetracks imprint pulls together the likes of Eliphino, Ejeca, Citizen and XXXY for its first (unmixed) compilation released this Winter, W&O Streettracks Vol 1. Having clocked up eight releases on Street Tracks, it's the ideal time to throw down a milestone and document the sound of the label in one package and W&O Street Tracks does so with panache. The result of Waze & Oddyssey's plunge into their address book is a 12 track compilation that neatly reflects modern house music. Ejeca, Citizen and W&O themselves sit alongside newcomers like Mediman and Sage Caswell while the emergent talents of New Jack City and Eliphino make for a nicely profiled piece of work