Review: Robin Ball's Memory Box builds on the success of early releases with a big new outing that features two of his own tracks and one from the legendary Luke Vibert. Memory Box is a party that has hosted Derrick Carer, Trevino and A Guy Called Gerald among others, and is a place to hear proper acid house. Ball himself is a master of the genre and most often released on his own Groovepressure label, having been making music since his teens. Now his latest labour of love is once again reaffirming his status as a vital voice in the UK scene. Luke Vibert has a rich history that makes him a key part of the UK's dance counterculture over the last 30 years. His always animated music is wild and inventive and comes on greats like Mo Wax, Warp and Planet Mu. Here he offers 'X to C', a wild melange of warped synth tones, grizzled basslines & acid flashes. It will twist and turn the dance floor inside out. Robin Ball's excellent 'Gripper' is a corrugated bit of electric house music that never sits still. Pensive pads in the background are offset by a busy lead synth line and old school stabs that make it a perfectly timeless, energetic fusion of moods and grooves. Lastly, Ball serves up 'The Edge,' a brilliantly brash cut with stepping acid sequences, raw drum work and warped bass that distills decades of UK music into one essential track. These are three devastating club cuts that expertly draw on the past, present and future of acid.
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."
Things I see. Things I hear. Things I say. Things I wish I'd said. Things I do. Things I'm meant to do. Things I wish I'd done. Things I love. Things that make me love. Things that make me smile. Returning to Not An Animal for the 4th time, Ess O Ess create the 'Voice Inside' on NAAR 16.
Instantly tom rolling into a neo-electro commodity, 'Voice Inside' undulates with lustrous vocals that stand as the tracks core. Pads cling to bleeps and guitar chunks that evaporate with alternating delays. 'Voice Inside (French)' adds a sensual linguistic twist, although the elements remain the same, they feel so different. 'Voice Inside (Dub)' completes the A, stripping tones back and chopping the duration to find yet another gorgeous avenue.
On the flip, Backwoods Remix adds to the original atmosphere with a face scrunching bass-line and pulsating 4/4 kicks that embraces the not so distant future. Last but by no means least, the mighty Craig Richards' signature 808s pound on the remix to close the B. Pulling darker tones to pitch shifted vocals, this minimalist beat composition is perfectly suited for vigorous floors.
Review: Remarkably, it took Vincent Halliburton 13 years to deliver a follow-up to his 2002 debut single "RM1x Files". The Detroiter hasn't left it quite so long this time, with this alluring three-tracker appearing just four years after its predecessor. Clearly Halliburton believes in quality over quantity, because "Vibe Under A Different Frequency" is superb. Check first the swirling deep space chords, delay-laden vocal snippets and layered, Ron Trent style deep house percussion of the fittingly titled "On A Deep Groove", before gaping in awestruck wonder at the dreamy, deep and hypnotic "Going Away", which boasts some suitably breathy, out-there vocals from none other than Sade. He rounds things off in style via the groovy warmth and sun-kissed dancefloor positivity of "Go Down".
Review: The sixth volume in Toy Tonics occasional "Tonic Edits" series comes courtesy of label regulars COEO, a Munich-based duo who previously proved their edit credentials via a tasty 12" on Razor-N-Tape. This collection is arguably even better than its predecessor and sees them take their rusty scalpels to a quartet of Japanese disco-pop tracks from the 1980s. There's much to admire, from the sleazy electrofunk grooves, bold pianos and sparkling pianos of "Matchbox" (A2) and the slap-bass propelled boogie goodness of the Teena Marie-esque "Uber Man" (B1), to the freestyle influenced synth-pop bounce of cheery closing cut "Tibetan Dance". Arguably best of all, though, is lead cut "Japanese Woman", a bi-lingual disco song rich in rubbery bass, Chic style guitars and sparkling synthesizer flourishes.
Review: In our opinion, there are few labels out there quite as consistent as Craigie Knowes. The Scottish imprint has been on fire of late, and this label debut from Tone Dropout and Klasse Wrecks regular Darren "Dawl" Woollard is another surefire winner. There's a sweaty, saucer-eyed feel to the EP, from the acid-fired breakbeat madness of throbbing opener "Let's Go" and the accurately titled insanity of "Heavyweight" - all chopped-up rave-era riffs, booming bass and skittish drums - to the mind-altering acid psychedelia of hypnotic closing cut "Overdub" and the warehouse-friendly 1990 breakbeat hardcore skip of sub-heavy smasher "Drop It". In other words, it's a reliably charged-up set of misty-eyed workouts.
Review: One of the richest, soulful voices in the European jazz, Biondi regularly works with the likes of Incognito. The High Five Quintet complements his delivery well with a Pimptones style soft-jazz structure but plenty of rhythmic welly. For a little more house and a little less jazz, flip for Opolopo's remix. Weighty and club-ready but with Mario's full vocal still intact, it's yet another notch in Opolopo's award-worthy remix bedpost
Review: Negentropy kicks off the summer with it's fourth release. This time courtesy of the unstoppable french groove wizard, Sweely. Fusing Jazz and Minimal House elements, Sweely will have you throwing shapes wherever the needle drops. Three tracks of high energy deep house funk, club ready and bound to do damage. Handle with caution and play it loud!