Review: By the time he released debut album Bump Talkin' in 1995, Paul Johnson was already an established figure on the Chicago house scene. He'd already released all manner of bumpin', forthright fare on such legendary labels as Cajual, Dance Mania and Djax-Up Beats, leading UK label Peacefrog to offer him an album deal. While many of his early singles were undeniably slamming, Bump Talkin' was an altogether more musically rich affair, with Johnson offering up a selection of warm, rich, jazz-flecked deep house cuts that have stood the test of time superbly. This vinyl reissue - the first since the original album release - emphatically proves the timeless nature of the music. Relatively few copies are available so don't hang around if you want to snag one.
Review: Dan Curtin's 1994 album, The Silicon Dawn, is still a marvel even after 24 years of significant playback, and is still inspiring younger generations of producers who are interested in the more dystopian side of techno - very relevant, it seems. In fact, it would be fair to say that this LP has become a pinnacle of modern dance music, almost a framework for perfection, and it's not a surprise that it's absolutely killer from the very first track, "Intro", which kicks off a wild voyage into hyper-space. From "Parallel" to "A Flash In The Distance" there is plenty of deep-minded synth experimentation and acid bleeping, and this carries on through with the supremely modern "Population 2". It is a hard LP to describe in parts, precisely because it is so well interlocked, flowing from tune to tune with one single vision in mind - the outer realms of space and time. A true techno album, from a legend.
Review: Ten Days Of Blue is John Beltran's second LP to date, from a distant-not-so-distant 1996, when a rush of neo-techno - on an intelligent tip - began to rush over the scene. The opening "Flex" is one of the greatest of its kind, a near 7 minute voyage of sparse drums, heavy bass and a level of euphoria that is close to match anywhere else. The truth is, however, that every tune on here is absolute fire, from the gentle IDM waves of "Collage Of Dream", the jazzed-out percussion of "Gutaris Breeze (6000km To Amsterdam)" and, of course, the knifty, pseudo d&b of "Ten Days Of Blue". There is so much more to explore, too, including the totally innovative techno of "Venim & Wonder". This gear really does sound like it was made the other day. Warmly recommended.
Me & My Peoples Eyes (feat Lord Imran Ahmed) (7:03)
Joy (feat Taj - part III) (6:11)
Black Sunday (10:49)
Review: Finding and buying original vinyl copies of Moodymann's brilliant second album, 1998's "Mahogany Brown", can be a costly business, so all praise to Peacefrog for offering up this much-needed reissue. Packed to the rafters with classic Kenny Dixon Junior material - see the woozy warmth of "Sunshine", where a children's choir rides a locked-in groove and jazzy electric piano solos, the sample-laden up-tempo bump of "MEANDNJB" and the sublime gospel house workout "Black Sunday" for starters - it's arguably the album that established the Detroit legend's trademark sound once and for all. When it comes to jazz-flecked deep house shot through with references to the history of black American music, there are few - if any - better albums.