Review: Few deep house producers are quite as hot right now as Adesse Versions, whose lovingly executed bootleg reworks and original productions have proved hugely popular in recent times. Here, he pops up on Local Talk, providing more lushly produced deep house gems for discerning DJs. Opener "Wash My Soul" impresses from the off, with bold synth riffs and sparkling electronics building in intensity over a chunky groove. The saucer-eyed "The Light" is a touch deeper but no less immersive, with mangled vocal samples rubbing shoulders with swirling pads and twinkling pianos. Finally, he makes great use of a joyous, life-affirming vocal sample on the deliciously positive and upbeat "Thank U". It's arguably the pick of a very strong bunch.
Review: Bringing the sassy end of modern house production to the table for Local Talk, "Antoinette" is a keys-rich, uptempo deep house cut that keeps the vibe soulful and still primed for the peak of the party. Shaking the styles up, on the flip "Cat Feeding" takes a sharp turn for acid country, replete with jack-hammer drums and oodles of squelch, while the ravey madness continues apace with more savvy 303 tweaking on "I Want You Now". With crisp and punchy production, there's no way these tracks can fail to destroy the dance and cut it with tracks twenty years their senior.
Review: "Where The One Is", the lead cut from Art of Tones' latest Local Talk release, sounds like a peak-time anthem in the making. Seemingly crafted using a mixture of cut-up Philadelphia soul samples, jammed-out new disco instrumentation and jazzy, ambidextrous house beats, it feels a little like a tooled-up, slightly more low-slung version of Blackjoy classic "Moustache". You'll find more low-slung, disco-fired, Clavinet-sporting heaviness on side B, where stomper "Double Wheelin" provides further guaranteed peak-time pressure. As for "Reprise Du Fonk", it appears to be a quick-fire dub of "Where The One Is" featuring even more elastic bass guitar, jazz-wise guitar licks and life-affirming electro piano solos.
Review: Following a surprise outing on House of Disco, Ludovic Llorca returns to Local Talk for the first time since 2013's much played The Same Thing EP. In its' original form, The Rainbow Song is a near perfect example of Llorca's particular brand of deep house - all stretched-out chords, a bustling bassline, tough but shuffling beats, cute cowbells and bluesy vocal samples. It sounds like an underground summer anthem in waiting. There's more of a funk-flecked urgency about the excellent S3A Broken STL Remix, which introduces further vocal samples and, arguably, an even more addictive groove. Certainly, it feels a little wilder than the original, whilst retaining Llorca's unique deep house perspective.
Review: French legend Ludovic Llorca is back under the Art Of Tones guise for the always impressive Local Talk. Acid soul funk? You bet! Take a listen to I "Just Can't (Get Over It)" and you'll believe there is such a thing. On the flip, the smooth and soulful groove continues on "Dirty Stories" which has an undeniably French touch about it, with good use wonky synths, emotive strings and SP1200 style vocal cut ups. Deepness in the vein of Pepe Braddock or Chateau Flight.
Review: Although Ludovic Llorca has released albums under his other production aliases (the most recent being 2017's jazz-funk set "The Garden" under his longest-running pseudonym, Llorca), "Unbalanced" marks his first full-length outing as Art of Tones - some 13 years. While it is available digitally as one expansive work, Local Talk has decided to split the vinyl version into two parts. This first volume contains six suitably warm and fuzzy tracks, most of which are gleeful dancefloor workouts that put fun and positivity front and centre. Highlights include the disco-fired "Keep On Having Fun", the Clavinet and organ-heavy stomper "Where One Is", suitably loopy "Have Fun For A Little While" and P-funk influenced "I Can" and "To The Limit". It's all up to the Frenchman's usual high standards.
Review: There's plenty to set the pulse racing on this second vinyl selection of tracks from Ludovic Llorca's debut album as Art of Tones in some 13 years. "Unbalanced Part 2" begins with a touch of tactile, head-in-the-clouds jazz-funk (the deliciously deep and woozy "My Comfort Zone") and ends with a rush-inducing, gospel-fired peak-time sing-along (the brilliant "Stand Up"). In between, you'll find a loopy chunk of tech-tinged deep house hypnotism ("Grow"), a sample-heavy fusion of deep house, disco and jazz-funk (the warm and toasty "Radio Hustle"), and a hard-wired, club-ready revision of 2015 single "The Rainbow Song" that's as rubbery and bouncy as a tennis ball from Bootsy Collins' private stash.
Sean McCabe - "It's My Life" (feat Cinnamon Brown - Sean 6am dub) (6:56)
Corrado Bucci - "Atacama Desert" (5:51)
Review: Matts and Tooli take time to acknowledge that the last half a decade and a bit have been pretty successful. And they're doing so with this exclusive vinyl-only four piece that covers some of the finest corners of house music known to man. Art Of Tones gets busy on the loose drums and slappy bass, DJ Spinna puts a new twist on a classic rising hook while Sean McCabe takes us right back to Nu Yorican soul heaven. Corrado Bucci closes the book with a dusty, pensive hypnotic stomper that will have you locked in seconds. Here's to another half a decade and a bit.
Review: Local Talk turn to a respected elder statesman of Swedish electronic music for their latest 12" transmission, with Martin 'Atjazz' Iveson responding by delivering perhaps the heaviest record in the label's discography to date. If you've indulged in a record from Atjazz before, you'll know Iveson has a masterful understanding of melody and sequencing and that's on full display here. There's a real vibrancy to the cascading synth lines and a thumping house groove on "Fox Tooth" that should work wonders on a dancefloor. Switching the vibe up, the Galaxy Aart Dub from Atjazz opts for a more broken slant on the deep house sound and represents a fine B-side.
Review: This year marks two decades since Martin 'Atjazz' Iveson put out his first 12" single. That he continues to deliver high-grade, soul-flecked deep house is testament not only to his skills, but his staying power. With this EP, he had little to do but put his feet up, as Kaytronic and Peacey took it in turns to rework last year's "Fox Tooth". The former kicks things off, combining heavy analogue bass, tech-tinged beats (think classic Swag) and creepy, late night textures. Peacey takes a different approach, teasing out the inherent sweetness of Iveson' synth work on a bouncy revision that makes excellent use of an extended breakdown.
Review: Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk is still going strong. The Stockholm label now taps In-Beat-Ween Music main man Alexander Lay Far, who appeared last year on the label with his Communication EP. The Slope sees him collaborate with the legendary Ashley Beedle of X-Press 2 and Darren Morris. First up is "Doctor Feelgood" with its '70s inspired production complete with funk guitar, swinging live drumming and an infectiously funky synth bass. The Slope" is a more downbeat affair for chill out moments, a deep soul funk number with swirling Rhodes, dreamy xylophones and rich analogue strings drawing comparisons to Roy Ayers RAMP project. "Lay Far's Upbeat Version" does exactly what it does on the cover, injecting a funky breakbeat into said track, making it more dancefloor friendly but still retaining all its soulful glory.
Review: Black Fan has only put out one EP on Wolf Music Recordings prior to this latest outing on Sweden's excellent Local Talk stable. His music is characterized by deep, dubby and raw beats coated in a distinctive party flavor, qualities heard loud and clearly on the wonky bumps of "In The Water". "Dancin' Together" takes the more soulful approach, where choppy female vocals ride above jittery chords and starry pads, whereas "J2015" is an altogether dustier affair, a quick-firing mass of percussion shots and siren-like melodies.
Review: Such is the frequency of their output, you'd think Local Talk were trying to set a record for the highest number of releases in any given 12-month period. All jesting aside, their quality threshold remains high, and this EP from the previously unheralded Tony Blitz is another winner. "Vodka & Valium" rolls along at a furious tempo, delivering a mix of speaker-wobbling low-end bounce, hip-wigglin' US garage beats and some particularly curious vocal samples (listen to the clips and you'll know what we mean). Crazkazat remixes, turning the original into a smooth, classic sounding chunk of wide-eyed piano house. "Bring It Back", meanwhile, moves further towards UKG territory whilst retaining a gooey deep house centre.
Review: Hi-tech soul, spiritual life music or as he himself would name it 'ancestral soul' - there are a handful or artists who have cultivated this idiosyncratic style and Boddhi Satva is definitely one of them. The artist hailing from Central Africa weaves a seamless tapestry of African music styles throughout his life-affirming grooves that have been offered up on defining labels such as Vega, Yoruba Soul and BBE over the years. His next journey comes courtesy of Mad Mats & Tooli's Local Talk imprint out of Sweden. "Basic Knowledge" is a deeply mesmerising journey utilising rich melodies and delicate chord progressions for a truly soothing experience. We're particularly loving "Together" (main mix) on the flip, where he goes deeper into the exotic with an awe-inspiring vocal performance.
Review: The Local Talk bandwagon keeps on rolling. While others have begun inching away from the classic garage/deep house revival, Mad Mats and Tooli are sticking to their guns. Given that they do it better than anyone else - there's a heartfelt authenticity to the label's releases - you can't blame them. Cle's "The Jam" is another beauty. Building constantly with bold pianos and 'Nights of The Jaguar'-ish synth-strings, its simultaneously pleasingly uncluttered (check the loose, bongo-laden groove) and surprisingly big. Dirtytwo's remix gives it a little more of a Mood II Swing-ish twist, whilst retaining some of the original's attractive looseness.
Review: "Sundial" and "Holding You Close" were both amongst the highlights of Crackazat's sublime sophomore album, Rainbow Fantazia, which dropped to critical acclaim last autumn. Here, those two tracks get the remix treatment, with Crackazat's original version of "Holding You Close" - a deliciously tactile, eyes-closed vocal number underpinned by elastic acid bass and fluttering synthesizer motifs- thrown in for good measure. The pick of the two new mixes comes from Groove Assassin, whose organ-heavy revision of "Sundial" is a joyous trip into goodtime, soul-flecked deep house territory with more than enough swing to satisfy serious dancers. That said Wajeed's mix of "Holding You Close", which emphasizes the track's soulful elements while adding new instrumentation and backing vocals, is also very good.
Review: Given that this is Ben Worrall's fourth Crackazat 12" for Local Talk in less than three years, it would be fair to say the project now has a regular home. As with many of his recent tracks, "Proton Blue" looks to classic US garage for inspiration, peppering a bouncy groove with rich organ stabs and jazzy synthesizer melodies. It's accompanied by the alternative "Deep Orbit" version, a more hypnotic and slightly more spacey interpretation that gives greater prominence to the producer's jazzy synthesizer riffs. "Called My Name", meanwhile, is a soulful, jazzy and fluid affair blessed with a hazy vocal and some luscious jazz guitar. The cut's loose and languid jazz-funk influences are explored further on the arguably superior "Meet the Band" remix.
Review: After sneaking out singles for the likes of Futureboogie and Astro:Dynamics over the past couple of years, it's time for Crackazat to step up to Local Talk with his limber and expressive brand of synth-rich deep house. "Candle Coast" features a simmering garage swing in its rhythm and keys that could sit neatly in a Strictly Rhythm classic, but it's a track piled high with tension despite the easy-bumping surroundings. "Dancrodile" takes a more leftfield direction into tropical flavours with its bright and breezy keys and shuffling ethnic percussion, and then "Silent Sing" goes ranging out towards a proto-techno jazz fest that would make the Motor City originals well up.
Review: Ben Jacobs ends 2014 the way he started it, with a dose of thrillingly sweet and melodious house on Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk imprint. "Somewhere Else" is a typically positive affair, with waves of ear-pleasing music box melodies, cheery chords and hazy vocal samples riding a swinging US garage groove. It's the kind of record you stick on to chase the blues away; it's almost impossible not to smile at its jaunty positivity. Ad Bourke tries a different tack on his rework, opting for a deeper, more melancholic sound and some hushed, DJ Sprinkles style beats. Even better is Hade 94's version, which adds a little analogue style grit and a booming, warehouse-friendly deep house feel.
Review: Since making his debut for Futureboogie Recordings back in 2003, Ben 'Crackazat' Jacobs has become a fully paid-up member of the Local Talk family. Here he delivers a third 12" for the Swedish imprint in little over a year. "Eye Light" is deliciously positive, with darting synth riffs and a melodious bassline riding a surprisingly loose and swinging deep house groove. Jacobs own "It's a Jam" rework takes the track into deeper territory, layering smooth chords and vocal snippets over a West London style broken beat rhythm. Flip for two reworks of "Silent Sing" from last year's Candle Coast EP; a high-tempo, Latin-tinged summer jam from Jacobs himself, and a dark, throbbing, warehouse-friendly revision from Tiger Stripes.
Review: South Welsh sound hounds CRST go toe-to-toe with their own Chesus on this ace quad-track EP for Swedish imprint Local Talk. Peppered with creatively manipulated and neatly trimmed classic house vocals while paying full attention to the jack factor, each cut oozes Chi-town panache and infectious grooves. Chesus flips the final switch for the beautiful swing-drenched finale "Special". Clearly studying in the same sample school as Sonic J, house flavours don't get much more timeless than this. Get munching.
Review: Given his love of dusty sample manipulation, obscure source material, hazy deep house grooves and jazzy hip-hop beats, it's perhaps unsurprising that Robert "Cuthead" Arnold is on Mad Mats and Tooli's radar. Arnold is predictably in fine form on this first outing for the duo's Local Talk label. Fuck That Shit is packed full of highlights, not least the bumping title track, where cut-up hip-hop vocal samples ride a bustling, bumping, snare-heavy rhythm track. Also impressive is the similarly minded "Get Down" and "Potato Express", which is warm, jazzy, positive and laden with tasty jazz-funk, soul and disco samples. As usual, he rounds things off with a dash of blazed, Dilla-esque MPC abuse, in this case instrumental hip-hop shuffler "What Can I Say".
Review: Mad Mat's excellent Local Talk emporium reach out to neighbours Finland for some killer house tracks from the vastly under rated Deymare. Across a smattering of releases for the likes of Boe, Quintessentials and Morris Audio Citysport, Deymare has always demonstrated a real finesse for authentic sounding deep house, and the four tracks on his eponymous debut for Local Talk further showcase that. It's pretty hard not to get sucked in by the gloriously lifting piano tones of lead track "1990", which is built around solid rhythmic patterns and complemented by subtle melodic touches. From here Deymare gets tougher on the drum machine workouts "Time to Work" and seriously bumping "The Beat Is Back", whilst "Keep on Movin'" highlights the Finn's talent for crafting tracks rich in detail without sounding cluttered.
Review: Swedish duo Dirtytwo rightfully caused a stir with their Local Talk debut last year, updating an ESG classic for deep house ears which found favour with everyone from Kerri Chandler to The Revenge. Another classic of the 80s era from Colonel Abrams falls under the scrutiny of Dirtytwo here, as the accapella from his standard "Trapped" is lifted and matched to a wondrously jacking 90s house refrain which is possibly more inventive than their celebrated debut. On the flip, "I'm Feelin'" demonstrates the duo are just as able at crafting a more modern sound, calling on old friend Frosche to add some vocal depth to a relentlessly bumping 4/4 groove.
Review: You can always count in Local Talk to bring the heat where pumping New Jersey house action is concerned, and it's no different on this offering from label mainstays Dirtytwo. "Waisted" sounds as though it looks to a certain Mr Vandross for some soulful crooning, but he's surrounded by a wealth of romantic string blasts and cheeky DX7 lines to round out a peppy belter. "Talkin' 2 U" gets sassier thanks to a crazily addictive lead synth line that bounces like the most uplifting of peak time jams. If that wasn't enough, there's a "Hard On edit" of that second cut that lets some squelchy acid in on the action amidst more wistful synth lines.
Review: Local Talk's 1nce Again reissue sublabel returns with the focus this time on DJ Duke, and the track "Closer", originally released in 1994 on Duke's Power Music Records. A long-time favourite of Local Talk's Mad Mats, the original Klubb Kidz flavour dub finds itself on this 12", a still impressive slice of 90s house which shows the imitators how its done. More exciting still are the remixes from esteemed Stockholm DJ and Parkway Records boss Mark Seven; his "So Close" strips everything back but the deep organ tones and the bold vocal, while the masterful "Stalker Mix" succeeds in delivering a more after hours cut with a shimmering disco arp placed squarely in the foreground.
Review: Yet more upfront house music from the Local Talk posse, this time looking to Moodymanc to serve up the chunky peak-time goods, kicking off with the jazzy lilt of "Morning". It's a feisty little number, keeping the beats strictly uptempo even as the samples come drifting in and out hypnotically. "Mr Ruff" has a choppier edge to it, throwing down Soundstream-esque stabs amongst a stout set of drums. Kyodai remixes "Mr Ruff" into a smoother blend, letting mellow chords merge into one another while the rhythm section holds it down with grace and patience, making for an emotive cut in the process.
Review: Ezel's Dominican roots shine brightly in his personal strain of house music, and while the producer hasn't released a great deal of EPs since his debut back in 2008, he has produced an impressive amount of remixes, many of them for established artists like Osunlade and Deetron. Here he is on the unstoppable Local Talk with the sweet and sensual "Get Down", a tune that would definitely be roofed under the classic 'soulful' sound due to its sleek groove and heartfelt vocals. On the B-side, Ezel himself remixes the tune by stripping the lyrics down and working the groove into a more fast and humble sort of house framework, and Bayacou's version adds a fine layer of extra melodies to the mix that make this cut a pleasure to mix into just about anything.
Review: Irish legends Fish Go Deep are back! Greg Dowling and Shane Johnson are the duo behind the hit "The Cure And The Cause" from the mid noughties and are still at it, releasing mainly on their own goDEEP imprint but this time appear on Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk. "Off Script" is deep (naturally) and dubby techno-soul; those emotive strings and Aril Brikha style synths are so Detroit, it's just brilliant! On the flip the dubby and rolling grooves continue with more soul in the circuitry on "Northern Reach". Nice one fellas, keep it yp!