Review: Club of Jacks follow up their bestselling debut vinyl release with another 4 tracker of heavyweight House & Garage cuts. This EP also features keyboard maestro Raphael 'Raffy' Bushman who adds some very special vibes. Opening track 'Follow Me' fuses deep basslines, an echoed sax riff and dubwise vocals with a rolling 4/4 UKG beat and mid-tune dubbed out breakbeat section. 'Bring It Back' is the first of the tunes featuring Raffy and he lays down some sublime jazzy piano over skippy swung beats, rhodes pads and nostalgic female R&B vocal cuts. On the flip side, 'Need Your Loving' features more of Raffy's exceptional keyboard skills in the form of organ stabs, uplifting piano solos and a funky bassline over a feel good groove. Rounding off the EP is 'Don't You Know', a late night deep house bomb, combining a heavy sub, emotive strings, organ stabs and soulful vocal flourishes.
Review: Last month, Maceo Plex returned from a near 12-month production sabbatical with "When The Lights Are Out", a deep, driving and hugely spacey vocal number whose combination of heavy house drums, booming bass and "West End Girls" style chords has all the makings of a mammoth anthem. Intriguingly, this "Garage Mix" from the man himself, slipping out on an ultra-limited 12", is arguably even better. It doffs an oversized cap to Armand Van Helden's legendary "dark garage" mixes of CJ Bolland and Sneaker Pimps, layering the original's dreamy synths and vocals over loose-limbed garage beats and a booming bassline that's more sub-heavy than your average pre-season football friendly.
Review: A rare bit of wax from sunny California, 12 Inches Deep returns with the continuation of their original debut release, West Coast Dance Traxx Vol. 2. More no nonsense deep house & garage compiled for club use, this time featuring 3 of California's finest; Los Angeles based producer DJs, Ricky Tinez, Akumen, and label manager Urbanite, plus international support from UK/BE based Le Smoove. Leading the order is "That Day" (dub mix), an emotively dreamy, chord driven roller by Ricky Tinez, followed by the noticeably grittier, disco influenced groove of Akumen's "Inner Life" (All of Music). Info side we have "G-Groovez," an upbeat, breezy, shuffle from the likes of Le Smoove, with Urbanite's "Triple Filtered," a classically influenced garage house arrangement reminiscent of the anthemic 90's New York sound, to close things out. Overall, a lush assortment of trax suited for any box, or collection, with appreciation for "deep."