Review: Sam Shepherd may have spent the last few years offering up off-kilter, jazz-fired grooves and heady ambient soundscapes, but he still knows how to rock a dancefloor. That much is proved by his first Floating Points single for almost two years. "LesAlpx (Extended)" is his most forthright, club-focused cut in ages - a thrusting chunk of rumbling, peak-time techno built around heavy bass, sweaty drums, twinkling electro piano motifs and raging, foreboding electronics. Shepherd teases in the most melodic, rush-inducing elements, introducing spacey synthesizers and dreamy chords midway through. It's breathtakingly good. Flipside "Coorabell" is similarly potent, with acid style electronics, warm chords and sun-kissed electronics wrapped around swinging, two-step influenced house beats and a weighty, sub-heavy bassline. In a word: essential.
Review: Apart from a very limited under the radar release in 2015, it took Vincent Halliburton 13 years to deliver a follow-up to his 2002 debut single on Ferrispark "RM1x Files" (both records go for silly money). 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: If you enjoyed the loose, warm and organic musical fusions of Italian outfits Nu Guinea and Mystic Jungle, we'd recommend checking out this fine debut album from fellow countrymen Aura Safari. The Perugua-based quartet explore similar influences - think jazz, jazz-funk, dusty deep house, Afro-cosmic, Balearica and boogie, for starters - and rely on a similar blend of vintage synthesizer sounds, live and programmed drums, jazz-friendly brass instruments and elastic bass guitar. The resultant album, then, feels like it comes from a similar sonic place, even if Aura Safari's distinctive musical blend is even more eclectic, emotive and atmospheric than that offered by their aforementioned contemporaries. Either way, it's a superb set.
Negro Es Hermano (The Utajiri Heritage mix) (13:49)
Sexy Things (V Lavender Sophisticado Black Soul main mix) (9:35)
Review: Hot on the heels of his sold-out "188.8.131.52 (Where It Started)" EP, Strictly Jaz Unit mainstay Vick Lavender returns with two more seductive and sophisticated deep house treats. He opens up with "Negro Es Hermano (The Utajiri Heritage Mix)", where jazzy guitar solos, jazz-funk synth doodles and ultra-dreamy chords bob and weave around a Glenn Underground/Ron Trent style, Latin-tinged deep house groove. Further warmth and wooziness can be found on deliciously rich and sugary flipside "Sexy Things (V Lavender Sophisticado Black Soul Mix)", an even deeper and more groovy affair built around warm bass guitar, unfussy drums, echoing Rhodes riffs and cascading jazz-funk synths.
Review: Somewhat surprisingly, two years has passed since Traumer launched the "Gettraum Hors Series" of ultra-limited, hand-stamped singles. We're not quite sure why the French producer - real name Romain Reynaud - has held back volume two, but we're happy to say that it's been well worth the wait. He hits the ground running with "Exercise", a sun-soaked chunk of tech-house funk built around jaunty stabs, glistening chords and a thickset synth bassline, before reaching for sub-heavy analogue bass, rolling drums and more sparkling electronics on the similarly positive sounding "Pago". Over on side B, "Bassomatic" is an acid-fired slammer shot through with sneaky audio references to turn of the '90s "bleep and bass", while gorgeous closing cut "Brocomania" wraps attractive dub techno motifs and ambient chords around warm bass and bustling breakbeats.
Review: The Vega Records five pack vinyl unreleased projects have become very sought after pieces amongst vinyl enthusiasts and collectors. Now available as unique 12"s for the first time, the third part features Louie Vega & Joe Claussell on the A side with "Getting Deeper" - proper spiritual life music right here by two absolute legends of the New York City underground - absolutely. On the flip we have C.O.O. with "Funky Cadets" (Daddy's Workshop Demo Ruff) -this funky little number is a more upbeat and feelgood number that's just as worthy of being played to the dancefloor. The originals now command high prices on the secondhand market and have never been available outside of a few select stores worldwide - don't sleep on this one!
Louie Vega starring Toni C - "Time Don't Wait" (Roots NYC mix) (6:45)
Louie Vega Starring Toni C - "Time Don't Wait" (instrumental) (6:30)
EOL Soulfrito - "Soulfrito Burnin'" (9:26)
Review: No one does soulful house music better than Lil Louie Vega! The New York City legend is back on his eponymous imprint, with a new anthem crusading for the cause of deepness entitled "Time Don't Wait". Featuring the life affirming vocals of Toni C on the Roots NYC mix, over bluesy guitars, creamy Rhodes and smooth latin rhythms - this one is absolutely perfect for those long hot summer nights. Then there is a handy and useful instrumental mix for your satisfaction, followed by the pure elevation of EOL Soulfrito's "Soulfrito Burnin'". Much sought after by vinyl enthusiasts, these were previously only available as part of a five pack 12" which now commands high prices on the second-hand market, and have never available outside of a few select stores worldwide.
Review: One of the world's premier DJ Duo's, Chus & Ceballos are well known for their uniquely energetic sets that feature hard hitting techno influences but still retain an essential connection to pure American house Music. Their music shines particularly bright in the summer, when their driving percussions impact even bigger during outdoor festivals and in the European summer clubbing markets. For their new release on Nervous, they have found a song initially released by DJ Michael Flume in 2001 called Agolele. While the release had limited exposure in its initial release, Chus & Ceballos were inspired by the authentic tribal flavor and inspired instrumentation, and saw a vision of how they could turn this into a 2019 summer club anthem. The result is out now exclusively on a Nervous Records vinyl release.