Review: Casey Tucker is on a roll at the moment, and his infectious brand of uplifting, full-fat machine soul seems to have struck a chord in many places (not least via his reissues on For Those That Knoe). After appearing on Love Notes back in 2015, Tucker's back on the label with another salvo of colourful, charming and utterly magnificent house jams shot through with the inventive programming of techno. "Alternative Faction" is many things - a bubbly acid track, a swooning deep house cut and a sassy broken beat affair - and yet feels utterly smooth in its execution. "That Time Of Year" has plenty of Motor City soul feeding into its composition, not least in the gorgeous synth strings, and "New Mission" gets busy in the swing with all kinds of bouncing melodies and rhythms.
Review: Master of minimal wave sonics Alessandro Parisi has spread his full-bodied synth wares around such esteemed labels as Slow Motion, Charlois, Giallo Disco, Lux Rec and more besides, and now he slides up to Vivod with an EP of noirish fantasies you'll be hard pushed to resist. "Crossfire" is the more uptempo cut, but "Ravens" paints a more vivid picture of retro-fetishistic club music in dangerous places. "Praying Sages" goes all out on the soundtrack vibe, but not before it's been remixed by Mick Wills, who casually threads a driving techno undercarriage into the track to create a strangely transcendental slab of cathedral-ready body music.
Review: In the field of minimal house reissues, this is a big deal. Perlon main man Dimbiman doesn't appear on wax often, but when he does he makes it count. This early release on Baby Ford's seminal Pal SL was originally out in 1998, when minimal house was a vague concept at best on the most outer reaches of dance music. "Iso Grifo" itself remains a masterclass of spine-chilling space and perfectly strange sonic matter, while "Lava" pushes the notion of reduction dance music to its absolute limit. "Round" is an even more immersive affair that hides many subtle layers within its seemingly simple construct. Quite simply groundbreaking stuff, and highly sought after so don't sleep on it.
Notes: These inner sleeves for CDs are perfect for storing them in LP-styled CD version covers.
The clear plastic sleeves are similar to the ones you get in Japanese paper sleeve packages. They're great for using if you lose your sleeves from any of those, or if you've bought LP-styled CD packages from other outlets and want something to protect the CD inside. Antistatic, and very well constructed.
Review: Having co-founded the now mythical Eglo Records, Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points has, more recently, begun to release his music through his own Pluto label, an imprint with a clear vision from the music to the artwork. Moreover, the label also gives Shepherd room to explore outside of his more traditional housey framework, and the majority of the releases on Pluto have consisted of wild and diverse shreds of broken beat and nu jazz. "Kuiper" is his latest excursion and it's a psychedelic journey through high-powered percussion and airy synth experimentations all wrapped up in a suave jazz coating. "For Mamish (part 2)" is something altogether sparser and less concrete, but there is still plenty of movement amid Shepherd's crystal sounds and Balearic riffs in what sounds like the perfect new age sort of amalgamation. Excellent.
Review: Disco Fruit head honcho Tonbe returns to his own label with more of the addictive, feel-good vibes he's become so well known for. "Make It Last Forever" is a string laden, emotionally charged shuffler with sweet vocals that sound like they could belong to house titan Robert Owens. "Get Loose" places the emphasis on a cheeky piano line that will have you strutting and finger waving with abandon, while "Gem Picker" gets deep on the choppy drums and smooth jazz samples. "Rough" is a seriously funky number, oozing warmth and soul to set your party off in all the right ways.
Review: Purism leaps into action once more, this time welcoming a strong cast of lesser known characters that fit right into the adventurous approach to house and techno that the label has forged its reputation on. All these producers make their first appearances here, but you wouldn't know it listening to the quality of the tracks on offer. Rafael Kasma's "Static Rope" is a quintessential grooving house jam with some killer filtered chords, while Munir Nadir brings the twitchy minimalism vibes on "Milagro". Jackie is on a sultry, jazzy deep house tip with "Lune" and Mag0 rounds things off with the cheeky, quirky funk of "Spectrum".
Review: The latest joint on Verdant comes from an exciting new collaboration between ESB (previously spotted on Echovolt, Leftroom and Heart To Heart) and Mihail Petrovski of Distant Worlds and Seventh Sign. This is classically informed machine soul as you would expect on Verdant, kicking off with the expressive deep techno stomp of "Subliminal Wave". "Phayse Distance" edges things towards the stratosphere with a staggered groove, plenty of cosmic acid tweaking and airy pads, and "Memory Upgrade" floats in a bath of mellow chords and submerged drums. "Permission To Dream" cools things down even more, ending the record on a particularly mellow note that B12 would be proud of.
Review: It's been a while since we last heard from Flord King, who has popped up on Junk Yard Connections as well as regularly featuring on Lyssna. It's the latter label he returns to now, and he's got some focused, stripped down club fare to impart. "El Klassiko" is a shuffling, funky minimal house jam with some wriggling melodies and a subby bass throb, while "Avocado In Blue" does a quirkier turn with some crafty synth flex that really stands out from the crowd. "Bob" too is a distinctive cut with some detailed layers of dubby ripples and errant computer debris quivering and shaking over the mellow pads and steady beat. "Deep Diff" twists out some cheeky bass and an overall emotive mood that ends the record on a poignant tip.
Review: Is It Balearic?'s Uber sublabel has been on cracking form since it started up in 2014, and now the more electronically-minded outpost turns to Russia and the lesser known artist Serene. The name is appropriate, as this hitherto unfamiliar producer turns out some wonderfully delicate compositions that are heavy on synths and light on rhythms. While it may be proudly electronic music, there is a very human warmth at the heart of At The Zenith, with reams of expressive key playing loosening up the mechanical pulse of the music to create a lovely pastoral listening experience in line with the other releases on Uber.
Autarkic - "Screaming (To Be With You)" (feat The White Screen)
JD Twitch - "Dalbouka"
Sneaker - "I Looked For You"
Die Orangen - "Rattling Ghosts"
Review: After teaming up to release the scintillating works of C Cat Trance in their original 80s form on Screaming Ghosts, Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti join forces once again to deliver a ludicrously talented roster of remixers who catapult John Rees Lewis' cult group into thrilling new spatial and temporal zones. Autarkic decides to go for the full-tilt cover version on "Screaming (To Be With You)", with ample help from The White Screen, while JD Twitch roughs up "Dalbouka" into a quintessential slab of ethno-motorik body music. Sneaker's take on "I Looked For You" emphasizes the atmospheric tension in the original, giving the track a cinematic scope, and Die Orangen's "Rattling Ghosts" finishes the record on an appropriately ominous, subtly industrial tone.
Shintaro D - "Kohisikarubeki" (Mr KS remix) (13:07)
Review: The Jus Groove It label is, of course, all about deep house music, and who better to help them in their quest than Djebali? The French producer is on exceptional form with the reduced but utterly seductive remix of Rhythm&Soul's "Andromeda's Dream", making dubbed out melodics and a mean bassline do all the work to deadly effect. Shintaro D gets reworked by Mr KS on the flip, and things get a little freakier with some errant synth wobbles and a minimal groove making for a distinctive, ear-snagging end result. It's definitely a record of two halves, and fortunately both halves are excellent.
Review: Kalbata is a delightfully unpredictable fellow, one minute turning out slick tech house with Guy Gerber and the next starting a dancehall riot with Warrior Queen. His long and varied career continues following a recent spot on Optimo Trax with this first 12" on Brush & Broom, a new label that is housing some particularly straight up 4/4 jams from the prolific producer. "Obskuur" has a clue in the name, plying a trade in the kind of furtive deep techno that ekes tension out of the most ambivalent of crowds with its oh-so-slow but powerful sense of progression. "Rumoured" has a broader palette, letting undulating threads of melodic synth work slither around the subby, minimal percussion.
Review: A Merle Travis blues standard, as laid down by the one and only BB King in 56. A homage to the coal miner with strong clear lyrics and vibrant horns, the original was one of many breakthrough's BB made in the 50s. It was also futureproofed for Belgium's popcorn sound with a bold brass version that's loaded with so much swing you almost forget its deep deep blues. Records like this are what 45s are made for.
Review: Nat Wendell launches the Depth Of My Soul label with a confident slab of deepness that should draw plenty of heat on the peaks and troughs of the house music landscape. "The Way" is a crisply produced pumper, revolving around a seductive little lead line and the haunting titular vocal hook - there's a whiff of tech in the make up of the track, but the groove is all house. "Theoretics" follows down a similar path, keeping things moody and mechanical without disposing of the funk, and then it's down to "Release Your Soul" to bring a little light into proceedings with some mellow keys and dubby flourishes.
Review: Distorted Sensory Perception is a new label emerging out of the Bristol underground to represent the deeper end of the techno and electro scene. The first release is a various artists affair that kicks off with the bold and expressive sound of rising talent Gilbert, last spotted on two excellent Innate releases. Mindless Evolving Objects takes a similar approach laden with harmonious pads and twinkling arps, while Datawave takes things in a darker direction without losing that melodic nous. Label founder Zobol has an emotive bent in his track "Scatterbrain," and Nikolay Sunak completes the set with the illustrious "Dance & Cry Baby."
Review: Dreamy mid '70s funk from Caribbean (St Maarten to be precise) trio Cool Creations: "Wish Upon Love" struts with a Boz Scaggs-style confidence and a deep, cloudy finish that would make Faze-O proud. Flip for a straight-up cloud burst as "Night On Beach Island" lives up to its name with measured pace, cosmic trumpets, sandy pianos and lavish, lolloping wave-lapping double bass. Beautiful.
Review: Alan Shelly was an intermittent feature in the late 60s and early 70s soul and funk scene, but his one-off 7" Party Freaks / Dance Together released in Italy in 1975 remains a treasured gem for those who crave the most potent secret weapons for their record crates. Of course, Best Italy are no slouches when it comes to such records and they have dutifully snapped up the original masters of these sought after jams and given the full, uncut mixes a proper, beautifully remastered airing on 12". "Party Freaks" has a raucous, West African flavour to it that can't fail to set the crowd alight, while "Dance Together" takes things in a looser, jammed out direction - both tracks are pure fire, and it's a damn good thing Best have dusted them down.
Review: Cuban bandleader, composer and rumba magician Ramon Santamaria had a huge influence throughout his 40 year career, notably writing Coltrane's famous "Afro Blue". Here are two of many stand-out cuts from his 1963 album Watermelon Man! While most the album's focus was on his Herbie Hancock cover, it's tracks like these that really gave the album its spirit and unique character; "Yeh Yeh!" is a samba shaking horn-led cut laced with crackling percussion and party cries while "Get The Money" leans back with rhythm and blues sass and a rhythm that's as powerful as Ramon's legacy. Moneymaker shaking guaranteed.
Review: In a 2010 interview, Tornado Wallace explained the inspiration behind his distinctive title as "something between a deep south blues artist or a logger from Nebraska". In subsequent years the Australian has seemingly swapped the south blues artist for something southern Italo, keeping the Nebraskan edge with his logger's beard. This is demonstrated in wondrous fashion on the water-coloured artwork to Thinking Aloud, his debut EP for Lovefingers' ESP Institute. Heavy bass plods switch to a walking bassline in "Bit One", as motorised and starry arpeggios weave between breathy vocals that are as much human as they are synthesised. This is complemented by "Cloud Country" which lowers in BPM with more Italo inspired arpeggios, pulsating toms and sprinklings of Latin sounding synths. The title track "Thinking Allowed" hogs the flip, slowly revealing itself to be a Balearic burner of the highest calibre. It opens with an analogous kick-snare combo and a "higher-self" spoken word spiel that's reminiscent of Will Powers legendary "Adventures In Success". Peaks come; troughs go as the track builds sublimely before dovetailing back to its original form. Welcome back sir!
Ronaldo Reseda - "E Novamente Mas Que Nada" (5:19)
Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti - "Ginga" (2:57)
Review: The 65th volume in Mr Bongo's admirable Brazil 45s series shines a light on Rio De Janeiro's turn-of-the-'80s boogie scene. On the A-side you'll find "E Novamente Mas Que Nada" by Ronaldo Resado, a five-minute chunk of samba-laced boogie sunshine that was originally featured on the artist's eponymous 1979 debut album. While wonderful, it's slightly overshadowed by flipside cut "Ginga", one of the highlights from Robson Jorge and Lincoln Olivetti's sought-after 1982 full-length (which, incidentally, was recently reissued by Mr Bongo and is well worth checking). Joining the dots between synth-heavy electrofunk, horn-toting disco-funk and languid jazz-funk, the instrumental track is arguably one of the best Brazilian boogie records ever made. Don't sleep.
All The Way (feat Tyler Daley & Kaidi Tatham) (4:00)
All The Way (feat Tyler Daley & Kaidi Tatham - Flutestrumental) (3:59)
Review: A warm welcome back to the Darkhouse Family, Cardiff's finest purveyors of soul-fired instrumental hip-hop and jazz-funk flavoured broken beats. The good news is that "All The Way", which features the combined talents of guests Tyler Daley and Kaidi Tatham, is every bit as good as anything on their superb 2017 album "The Offering". The A-side original version, in particular, is superb - a languid chunk of head-nodding hip-hop soul rich in double bass, drowsy jazz horns, twinkling pianos and impassioned, emotive vocals. That said, the instrumental flipside revision, which includes extended flute solos where the vocals once say, is also impeccable.
Review: ** Psychemagik classic repress alert ** Ah yes, "For Your Love", the 1978 Euro Disco classic from Chilly hasn't that been re/edited by at least 78% of Soundcloud's disco edit community? Correct - it's actually second only to the gazillion marketing tools presented as a remix that are helping to power forward the career of Lana Del Rey. Psychemagik are yet to remix Lana Del Lips so we can forgive them for adding to the slew of edits of Chilly's Yardbirds cover version already released. As it stands the Psychemagik version of "For Your Love" is a commendable revision which beefs up the low end and extends everything beyond the ten minute mark. Much better is the sub blessed take on Joyce's "Aldeia De Ogum" which should come with a Punta Del Esta Approved stamp.
Review: Fred Everything's Lazy Days label is always one for summery sounds, and they've got that in abundance from Parages label regular OJPB. The vibe on "Lucy's Stomp" is insanely upbeat, all cheery funk licks with a little French psychedelia draped over the top. "Mis A Part Et Fini" has a more dreamy outlook with its sky-reaching lead synths and hazy strings. Fred Everything dives in on "Bridgetown's Pyramid" and makes it into a sizzling bongo-powered groover, bringing out the warm ingredients in OJPB's original and matching it with his instinct for a sustained dancefloor atmosphere.
Cold Diamond & Mink - "Let's Get Together" (instrumental) (4:22)
Review: We just love hearing new soul and funk. Sure, a rare single from the 60s or 70s goes a long way in satisfying our needs, but how good is it to hear NEW music!? That's why we rate Finland's Timmion imprint so highly; they always come through with the goods, and there isn't a single EP they've put out that hasn't interested us... or flown off our shelves! This time, Jonny Benavidez, Cold Diamond and Mink team up for the absolute sexiness that is "Let's Get Together", a seductive soul ballad that is bound to lit up the room instantly! The instrumental is rather fine, too.
Review: After coming to light with his crucial edits on Les Edits Du Golem, Alexis Le-Tan has gone on to become one of the shining lights on Bahnsteig 23's roster of deviant discoid dissenters, and he's burning up as he comes careering onto the label's 45th release. "Agre" is a steroid-injected blast of 80s firepower, all stomping drums and a dazzling assortment of dancefloor-engineered synth parts. "Pune" is a slower, groovier jam but it's no less striking in its make-up. "Hubli" takes a more unusual path away from the party, into a hard to define zone somewhere between soundtrack, home listening jam and un-nerving warm up-not warm up. "Kulem" finishes the EP off on a more steady tone, but still the rich, glossy production details come spilling out of this bombastic jam just like the other tracks on this loud and proud record.
Review: Two of Funk Night Records' most distinctive and innovative acts join forces for two outstanding pieces of psychedelic fiery funk fusion. Estonian duo Misha Panfilov Sound Combo set the bedrock on "Soul Strut". All fuzzy, unkempt and energetic, it sets the scene for Detroit's Coco Buttafli to lay her scorched heart on the line in an almost metal-like style. "Electrifying Woman" takes us even deeper into the psychedelic mindset as the groove is given a swampy, dizzying feeling while Coco spits spoken word with such a savage honesty you can't helped but get sucked into the story. Two of a kind.
Review: Burnski's debut album DNA dropped on Constant Sound last year, and now the label have called upon a strong cast of characters to do the remix duty on some of the LP's key tracks. Parisian trio Mandar bring a heart-melting tone to "Another Source" without losing their insistent shuffle, while Diego Krause strips things down with a functional broth of minimal minded business. The original mix of "Another Source" gets a fresh outing, and very fine it sounds too. That leaves it to Laura Jones to twist out a hypnotic electro version of "I Like You".
Review: Not An Animal are known for their heated takes on the art of disco-sampling house music, and Ess O Ess is one of the key factors in defining that sound. This comes through in spades on Take You To A Secret Place, where the title track comes marching out atop a deadly bassline that will cut through any mix to get the people freaking out. The dub mix is equally deadly, flying a generous dose of cosmic sparkle into the mix without losing the punch in the original production. Kuniyuki Hard takes a daring approach that slows the track down to a creep and emphasises space and tension. The Angophora version is even more drastic, seemingly stripping all the recognisable elements of the track out and leaving behind a plaintive thread of ambient instrumentation.
Review: Tabernacle aren't as known for their reissue work, but here they've made an exception to shine a light on a truly astounding hidden gem lost in the dry ice haze of the early 90s. Phuture Classical Appendix A originally came out on cassette in 1992 on Drome Tapes in the Netherlands, showcasing a low key selection of artists exploring the limits of deep, dark techno and house. Now spread across three 12" releases, these treasured curios now get the widespread release they deserve, leading in with the haunting self-titled track from Paradize Disowned before the gritty techno throb of "Gee Lee" by DJ Zero One. Considered in their execution and immensely evocative of the underbelly of early rave culture, these releases are ones that discerning old-skool heads will not want to miss.
Review: Helena Hauff's Return To Disorder label plunges once more into the grimy underworld of electro and wave music, this time guided by dungeon dweller Morah who debuted on the label in 2015 and has since gone on to great things via Lux Rec, Berceuse Heroique, brokntoys and more. "I Saw, Strained Her Eyes Peering Into The Gloom" is a bittersweet dance with distortion as disheveled as it is catchy, while "Dance When Lights Off" pushes even further into the red with scintillating results. "Against Your Beloved" sounds positively shimmering by comparison, even if on its own it's still a truly dirty slice of jacked up electro. "One Shade The Less, One Ray The More" is a strong closing bout that draws from a similar sound bank and applies it to a more techno-minded structure.
Notes: The HSX-005 balanced 1/4" TRS male to 3-pin XLR male Audio Cable (5') from Hosa Technology is a professional audio cable that's perfect for touring and live sound applications where a device with a balanced 1/4" phone output needs to be connected to a device with an XLR input. The cable has top-quality REAN connectors for excellent durability and superior signal transfer.
The conductors are made from 24AWG oxygen-free copper to maintain a clear signal path. The cable also has 90% OFC spiral shielding for terrific flexibility and effective EMI and RFI rejection. The cable is 5' long and has a 1/4" TRS phone connector at one end and a 3-pin XLR male connector at the other.
Review: With a story intrinsically woven into the fabric of the Deep Explorer catalogue, Leo Gunn presents his debut album in a sultry haze of natural, heartfelt deep house with all the soul the genre has to offer. The LP begins in a laconic fashion with the slow-ticking "Leo & Leo Jr" before "Journey Inwards" presents a more focused kind of track for steady warm ups and hazy mornings. "Digital vs MIDI" is equally a subtle kind of party starter with its solid rhythmic foundation and "Home Base" fixes its gaze on a more lively time of night, but here and throughout the mood is predominantly mellow, as it should be with a release on Deep Explorer.
Review: Nebraska's Friends & Relations label is back in action with another two assured cuts of dusty, earthly grooves from the South London beat fiend. There's a rough n' ready MPC vibe to the break that courses its way through "The Guitar," providing a sturdy basis for the noodling titular axe cartwheeling its way across the mix. After those slightly Balearic vibes, "The Vocoder" brings a more forthright floor-filling attitude to the record thanks to a classic sizzling disco hook and a relentless forwards momentum. It's Nebraska on impeccable form, bringing the heat and stirring the soul in equal measure.