Review: ** Repress ** Yes! Secretsundaze hit pay dirt with this killer double drop from the man Amir Alexander. As anyone who grabbed his Idiot Savant Masterpiece EP will attest, the Vanguard Sound head has put his name to all manner of excellent records in the past eighteen months without getting the wider exposure his own distinct brand of percussion heavy US house music merits. An appearance on a label such as Secretsundaze should ensure Alexander's music seeps through the cracks of recognition and really, he's on fine form here. Lead cut "Don't Go" is simple, unfussy house music - little more than hard hitting drums, snaking synths, a squelching analogue bass line and a submerged vocal. Complementing this, the suitably titled "Bangin'" details Alexander's penchant for taut acid flecked house bangers. No nonsense House music from a current master of his craft.
Review: Following transmissions for Delsin and Animal Farm, the hurried beats of Bleak make their way to London's Secretsundaze label, beginning with the filtered and soft edged "Open Space". Reverb and delay adds wispy breathes of cool emotion to the cosmic pads and space gurgles of "Smoke", while the sound design of "Missing" is much drier than the rest of the EP, the Swede washes the track with dripping licks of acid so sour it'll make your toes curl.
Review: The Fear Of Flying label's co-owner BLM returns with his first new material in some time on the label of cult London party Secret Sundaze with a three track EP that feels significantly darker in tone than his releases for Tsuba and Underground Quality. "Sudden Death" is a hefty piece of loop techno that would put Skudge to shame, whose chugging bass and clattering percussion is contrasted with some softly placed keys. "Chemistry" is another weighty production whose dimly lit dub chords slowly emerge from the gloom before leading into an unexpected section of gentle 303 and spoken word vocal, while "Brick" is a lighter jam whose swelling synth waves catch a restless bassline and looping chords in its wake.
Review: "Secretsundaze continue their quest to uncover amazing new music with the signing of exciting young Dominican artist Boundary. At just 19 years old Boundary aka Josue Suero makes music that is brimming full of ideas and influences that belie his young age. The 'Interlazados' EP is his debut release for a UK label.
Taking cues from his fascination with video game music, his first real gateway to electronic music, the four track EP showcases Boundary's melodic sensibilities and ear for a killer rhythm.ALead track 'Opticamente Avanzando' unwinds over 12 minutes of deep, mesmeric melodic, contemplative electronica with hints of 90's UK rave influences.ACheck the grins when the killer bassline drops half way through!A
The glossy melodies, jazzy motifs and hip-tugging bass of 'OP.AV' and the breakbeat house of 'Interlazados' channel more lo-fi, ambient house influences but all sent through that unique Boundary filter. Finally, the brain-warming, hypnagogic, tempo-changing rhythms of 'Planos de Ausencia Casualidad' could be the EP highlight and recalls the work of Lone and Actress.
You could listen to these tracks and be mistaken for thinking this is an artist who has maybe been lost in the throws of extended Villalobos DJ set or the deep pads of old Sun Electric records, but as an artist who is an outsider to the European dance scene, his inspiration comes from closer to home, as Boundary explains:
"For this EP I was interested to see if i could hit close to the feelings i have when I listen to certain video game music, how I could convey the amazing and deep storytelling in these songs. I really wanted them to feel like a ride/adventure. 'Opticamente Avanzando' ('Optically Advancing' in English) for me is like a venture into a machine that analyses a bunch of electronic music genres and it outputs as many different variations of these genres it can, each with their own little quirk/details, creating something unique in the process."
With previous releases on LA based label, Point Records, and Paris' Third Try label (Axel Boman, SFV Acid) Boundary's emergence represents a promising prospect for the electronic music world and 'Interlazados' another essential release on Secretsundaze."
Review: Secretsundaze return with a second volume of their new mixtape series. After the success of the Joe Claussell tape they turn to Carista for another introspective mix aimed at a relaxed home-listening session.
In May 2018, Carista performed one of her first international gigs at Secretsundaze in London and went on to play 2 other shows for them that year. A year later, she has become a mainstay on the European club & festival circuit, playing to an ever growing, passionate and loyal fanbase week in week out, already playing shows that most DJs would only dream of, including closing a stage at Lowlands festival to an audience of 10000. No wonder a recent Mixmag article crowned her as "A DJ star in the making".
Her residencies on NTS and Red Light Radio showcase her love of house, boogie, broken beat, disco, funk and beyond. Her DJ gigs can also see her explore further into house and techno but this mixtape showcases a different, softer side of Carista blending ambient soundscapes, jazz, dub and soul as well as some poignant words from Nina Simone.
This is Carista's debut physical format release so don't sleep!
Review: 2015 is shaping up to be a big year for Shanti Celeste, the unofficial first lady of Bristol house music. The Chilean-born producer has been in fine form of late, and here delivers another killer 12", this time for Secretsundaze. There's naturally much to admire throughout, from the techno-tempo, synthesizer-heavy deep house shuffle of "Golden" - also available in an extra-percussive, extra-eccentric Dub remix form on the flip - to the bumpin' beats, ethereal pads and dreamy freestyle vocals of "Nu4him". Arguably best of all, though, is "Sun", whose inherent dreaminess is countered by punchy drum machine hits and twisted, alien electronics.
Review: Legendary New York DJ, producer and remixer Joe Claussell launches the new mixtape series for Secretsundaze. The 85 minutes mix is a typically spiritual and introspective selection recorded at The Cosmic Arts Center, Brooklyn.
Review: Deep house veteran Ramon Lisandro Quezada AKA DJ QU makes his debut for Giles Smith and James Priestley's Secretsundaze imprint with a fine EP of woozy, off-kilter house. "SS1" is rolling, hypnotic and trance-like in its' dedication to groove, with darting electronics and looped riffs riding a wonky, late night rhythm. "Fearless", on the other hand, is loose and trippy, all curious vocal samples and swirling strings. Finally, "Loveboxx" offers a dose of saucer-eyed late night fun via a pulsating bassline, cascading chords, delay-laden percussion and dusty, sun-baked melodies.
Review: As you'd expect, there's far more hits than misses on this second sampler 12" for Secretsundaze acclaimed Dance 2017 compilation. We're particularly enjoying the deep and spacey shuffle of Jayson Wynters's "Chi Kung", where eyes-closed electronics and intergalactic synthesizer flourishes cluster around a bongo-laden, acid-fired groove. Bastien Carrera's gently bobbing "That Time Again" is also quietly impressive, but it's the A-side salvo from DJ Slyngshot that really impresses. Entitled "Hygh Tech", the track doffs a cap to both tactile, loved-up old deep house and chunkier early UK tech-house, while carving its own breakbeat-driven, rave-for-days old school niche.
Review: Eliphino continues to explore his emotionally charged, modern sound with this new mini LP for Secretsundaze. Following the trend laid out by his previous turns on Hypercolour, The Love Below and Meda Fury, he unfurls a richly harmonic sound that places emphasis on melodic progression to tell a particularly personal story, ranging from the emotive "Studio Time" to the crooked break-flecked "Old Lemons". "Second Sunday" flirts with electro and "Breaking Up Is Hard" veers towards jungle, but throughout Eliphino's personality binds the record together in fine style. Thoroughly contemporary and unbounded by genre restrictions, this is the sound of someone making the record they want to make.
Review: After previous, if infrequent, transmissions for Electric Minds and Non Plus, Commix producer George Levings returns with some new Endian material for the always impressive Secretsundaze Music. The more attentive out there may well have heard at least one of these tracks in the club or in a mix of late, with Joy Orbison ending his Essential Mix last year on the opening track "Finish Me". Well done to Secretsundaze for facilitating a wider release for them then with "Finish Me" the sort of fiery, low end heavy club track you feel will be heard on dancefloors for some time to come. Don't ignore the B side tracks though as they are equally potent tools for the dancefloor.
Review: Since 2011 George Levings has been living a double life. While best known for his drum & bass work as Commix, he's also impressed with occasional house and techno flavoured outings as Endian. Global is his second outing for Secretsundaze under the latter alias, and begins with the metallic tech-house drums, spacey chords and intergalactic effects of hypnotic shuffler "XS-10". He ratchets things up a notch on the title track, using restless hi-hats to help drive the groove forwards. It's an interesting trick, as it adds a little more dancefloor weight to an otherwise deep, dreamy and melodious backing track.
Review: With its classic Detroit strings and delicate piano melodies, this beautifully simple deep houser from Birmingham natives Ethyl & Flori was crying out for a weighty Motor City remix. Step forward former Underground Resistance man Rolando, who delights in turning the fragile but calming original into a pulsating chunk of classic D-town techno. In typical Rolando fashion, his "Shelter" rework pushes the synth-strings to the fore, giving them space to shine on a mix that should delight anyone who likes their dance music sweet and emotion-rich. There's also a neat bonus cut in the shape of "THD_001" - all bespoke tribal percussion, bubbling synths and heady vocal edits. Impressive stuff.
Review: Having opened proceedings on 2014 with that killer induction from Amir Alexander, Secretsundaze continue to treat the 12" format kindly with a return for the man Flori. Jamie Taylor's been responsible for some of the club-turned-label's finest hours thus far, both with regular partner Ethyl and on a solo flex with the 2012 release Lucy EP. The three tracks on Within Reason are Flori in floor focused mode, something apparent from the very off as "What It Is" grunts along with low slung muscular intent. Complementing this, "Drum 1" percolates away whilst a synth line worthy of Theo Parrish worms its way into your memory, whilst "Unsettling" glides blissfully across the entirety of the B Side - this last one is particularly special.
Review: It would be fair to say that Black Jazz Consortium man Fred P is a reliable source of atmospheric, immaculately produced deep house and techno. We can't think of a duff release to date. Certainly, this first 12" for Secretsundaze is full of playable treats. Opener "6AM" uses tribal-influenced drum rhythms, mutilated vocal samples and moody electronics to create a dark and hypnotic early morning mood, while "Herb" is a perfect fusion of trippy broken house rhythms, hazy minor key refrains and weighty dub bass. Arguably best of all, though, is "Mile High", a superbly emotional deep house epic full of crystalline chord progressions, sweeping synth-strings and immaculately programmed percussion.
James Priestley & Marco Antonio - "Baia 2012" (Aybee Solar dub) (5:55)
Review: Due for release in January, Dance 2017 will be Secretsundaze Music's first ever compilation. This first sampler 12" gives a taste of what's to come, showcasing three killer cuts destined for the CD and download versions. Fred P kicks things off, successfully combining a chunky, dexterous drum track with canny manipulation of one of deep house music's most iconic string samples (yep, the very same one Pepe Bradock used on "Deep Burnt" all those years ago). Flip for a dose of bumpin', drum-led deep house magic from the always on-point Nubian Mindz ("Testing Theories"), and a deliciously deep, acid-flecked collaboration between Secretsundaze co-founder James Priestley, and regular studio pal Marco Antonio Spaventi.
Review: The third volume in the Dance 2017 series is notable for featuring the first collaborative production from Giles Smith and James Priestley under the Secretsundaze moniker. Given that they delivered their first combined mix CD some ten years ago, "Motorway" has been a long time coming. It's also rather good, offering a hypnotic and wide-eyed blend of urgent, 128 BPM percussion, car horn style synth stabs, heavy bass and swirling string loops. It's not exactly Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" for the tech-house generation, but we sense the Robots would approve. Less surprising is Palm Trax's "Outflight", a positive and melodious chunk of synthesizer-heavy deep house goodness full of new age melodies, darting synth-bass and crunchy drum machine hits.
Marshall Jefferson vs Noosa Heads - "Mushrooms" (Salt City Orchestra Out There mix)
East West Connection - "Find A Way" (feat Maiya James - Dubtribe Soundsystem dub)
Dinky - "Polvo"
RNDM - "Hideaway Lane" (dub)
Anthony Shakir - "Travellers" (MRSK remix)
Skudge - "Ontic" (Rolando Understands remix)
Two Armadillos - "Ronin"
Steven Tang - "Ominous"
Tornado Wallace - "Always Twirling"
Smallpeople & Christopher Rau - "Life Aquatic"
Slam Mode - "Insulate"
Review: With - gulp - a decade of debauched parties now behind them, Gilles Smith and James Priestley are pushing the boat out in celebration. As well as a string of parties, they've put together this deluxe double CD compilation of musical highlights and personal favourites. With Smith and Priestly both serving up their own mix, the quality threshold is consistently high. There are many long-forgotten gems and little known remixes, touching on most of the duo's various inspirations over the last ten years, from slept-on deep house, floor-friendly techno and druggy tech-house to starry-eyed broken beats, body-poppin' jackers and string-laden disco-house.
Review: Giles Smith and James Priestley have left an indelible mark on house and techno culture in the UK, not least thanks to their fabled Secretsundaze parties. These days they're taking that iconic stamp into the studio, and following up on strong turns for Mule Musiq and Phonica last year they're finally dropping a full length EP on their own label. The quality is as high as you would expect, from spicy, snarling fire starter "Mezcal" to the transcendental swirl of "Stand Up". On the B side, "Testing" takes things a little deeper with a heady stomp and a tricky disposition that will satisfy all the selectors.
Review: Having re-launched the Secretsundaze label last summer with their 'Stand Up' EP, the Secretsundaze production team make a marked return with the aptly titled 'Devious' EP. This follows on from a bunch of releases on the label from Silvestre, Carista, Eliphino and Joe Claussell.Secretsundaze also recently started a new re-edit series 'Secretsundaze Edits' with a contribution from themselves and Ge-ology topping Juno's Bestsellers charts (no.1 All Genres) for a good stint of February, gaining love from the likes of Gilles Petterson, Mary Anne Hobbs & Antal along the way. The pair have also recently released on esteemed labels such as Live at Robert Johnson, Phonica and Mule Musiq.
Review: Lisbon-born, London-based producer Silvestre came to light on Disktopia before starting up the Padre Himalaya label to house his unconventional chuggers. This release for Secretsundaze finds him exploring his sound in greater detail, folding in a certain amount UK rave energy amongst other more esoteric motifs. The results are spellbinding, from the twilight marvels of "Lights" to the slow breakbeat chops and delirious harp trills of "Fuego". At times the ideas have a scuffed mixtape quality to them, which only adds to the charm. D.K. is on hand to deliver a remix for the broader needs of the dancefloor, although he wisely keeps the beguiling qualities of "Fuego" intact as he nudges it closer to the party.
Review: Secretsundaze - the legendary party launched by Giles Smith and James Priestly - is a staggering 10 years old and still going strong. In this fast paced industry that's one huge achievement and we're massive fans of the guys and their parties. The Secretsundaze imprint relaunched this year in consummate style with an essential 12" from Parisian house don Brawther backed by a remix from George FitzGerald. Up next, the Two Armadillos (Giles Smith and Martin Dawson) take to the stage with the People Of The World EP. "Warriors Return" is jazzy and elegant as delicate hats, warm keys, a slick bass guitar and perfectly spat brass breeze along. It's low slung, jazzy, sexy and grinding - our pick of the bunch! On the flip, "People Of The World" speeds things up with urgent pads and sharply syncopated hats while "Night Ridin" goes old school and deep. Rhodes keys, rapid rim shot taps and raw hand claps lay down the basis for a sampled crowd vocal chant, rounding off a refined and deliriously groovy EP.
James Priestley & Marco Antonio - "Baia 2012" (Aybee's Solar dub Exclusive)
Secretsundaze - "Continuous Mix"
Review: The cheekily named Dance 2017 is the first compilation from Giles Smith and James Priestley's long running Secretsundaze label. While inspired - in part, at least - by TV-advertised '80s and '90s dance comps, the contents of this particular collection are far from vintage. It includes fresh and recent cuts from various members of the label's growing roster of artists, including Fred P, Wbeeza and Two Armadillos. Highlights come thick and fast, and include the fluttering, mesmerizing deep house of Shanti Celeste's "Nu4Him", the space-age bump of Brawther's "Spaceman Funk (Deep Dub Mix)", the heavyweight techno thrust of "SS1" by DJ Qu, and the tribal influenced, broken house thrills of Endian's "Finish Me".
Review: Warren 'Wbeeza' Brown follows artists like DJ Qu and John Daly to deliver an EP on the label arm of the Secretsundaze organisation. The release starts with the grubby, mucky rhythm of "Black Moon", with Brown covering it in layer upon layer of dirty sound effects. "Like Butta" inhabits a totally different place, and has more in common with US garage; the drums and snares are crisp and sharp and the musical elements sound very jazz-influenced. For his final track, "Ferguson" take another turn; this time, it's towards acid trax, with Wbeeza applying his own subtle take on rolling Chicago drums to a bouncy 303 line.
Review: After a couple of years earmarked as one of the UK's many "up and comers" with releases on Disfigured Dubs, Lo Rise and Magicbag, slippery Leeds based producer seems ready to make the step up. This classy debut on the Secretsundaze label follows a recent turn on the Hype Ltd operation, and there's a whisper of a forthcoming 12" through Will Saul's Simple in the offing. Sensual, skipping house primed for dusk-centric hours is the feeling you get from title cut "Times" and the subsequent three productions further demonstrate Youandewan's mastery of heavily layered, atmospheric arrangements that still retain some sense of forward momentum.