Review: Although little known in the UK, singer Marjo Leinonen has enjoyed a long and successful career in her native Finland. Surprisingly, she's put out very few solo records, with the CD-only rhythm and blues set "Huff 'N' Puff" (2012) being her only release of note. She's on fine form here, though, offering up strong and distinctive soul vocals over early 1960s style backing tracks provided by the previously unheard Publicans. Side A's "No More Crying" is particularly potent and comes with the added bonus of flute solos from eccentric Finnish scene stalwart Jimi Tenor. Over on the flip, "Treat Yourself Right" is slow and atmospheric, with Leinonen singing over a beat free soundscape of plucked guitars and dreamy chords.
Review: DJ Deep and Roman Poncet launched their Sergei Rezza project some three years ago with a widely lauded album, and now they're back with their own label and a chance to fully explore the boundaries of their combined sound. The record starts off gently with the introspective, ambient lilt of "Cale" before wriggling into a knotted groove on "Treehouse" that places intricate rhythm programming at the forefront of the mix. "Monte" has a more forthright pulse at its core, but there's still space for some pattering percussion, and "Decale" shrugs off the drums to explore guitar licks with an almost Balearic finish to them.
Review: Turkish producer Mutlu San steps up to Lessizmore as yet another example of the Belgian label being incredibly on-point when it comes to signings. The emergent talent from Istanbul has a luxurious sound that taps into the minimal vein while offering a richer spread of textures and moods than your average micro roller. "Deep Sea Mosaics" is certainly a highlight, and it's left to Tolga Fidan to do the reducing on his remix of the track. "Phylum" sees San team up with his production partner in Bartaub for a more linear beat track, but with "Subglacial Funk" he nudges a little more of that unpredictable magic into the mix without losing the dancefloor essence of the track.
Review: Bruno E has plenty of history in the field of future jazz and downtempo, and now he's been snapped up by D3 to deliver some of that cold-chilling lounge business with some interesting remixers on board. Pat Van Dyke is up first, creating a blissful version of "Ventos De Outono" that feels as cosy as a warm fire and a glass of whisky on an autumn evening. The original version of the track is actually a peppier affair with a broken beat lilt that wouldn't sound out of place alongside the Dego and Kaidi Tatham crew. Kirk Degiorgio is a natural fit for another remix given his jazzy roots, and his swirling techno treatment is the perfection lotion to pour over Bruno E's excellent original ingredients.
Review: Fragrant Harbour once again dig out a cult gem from the seemingly endless vaults of 90s dance music, picking up on a rare and precious gem from a seminal Laurent Garnier mix and giving it the remaster and reissue it deserves. The artists responsible, Broccoli Brothers vs Righteous Men, hailed from Germany and were trying to emulate Mike Dunn. "Catch It (Calm Manoeuvre)" is a spaced out deep house track with all the gritty impact of a classic jam, while "Catch It (Jam)" gets decidedly rowdy with its hefty kick, jacked up swing and wonky bassline. On the B side "Ruhrschnellweg (Last Exit Stahlhausen Mix)" brings a little Detroit flavour into the mix with spectacular, uplifting results.
This Is What You Are (feat The High Five Quintet - radio edit) (4:21)
This Is What You Are (The Brazilian Rime) (4:53)
Review: "This Is What You Are" is undoubtedly Mario Biondi's most celebrated work. He first sung it for original composers Was A Bee in 2004, before re-recording it for his debut album (alongside the High Five Quintet) in 2006. Since then it has been reissued or remixed on numerous occasions. Here it gets reissued on a tidy 7" single, with a punchy radio edit - a swinging, Sunday afternoon style chunk of Latin soul-jazz rich in jaunty grooves, soaring orchestration and smooth vocals - being joined by the "Brazilian Rime" rework. This tasty re-recording re-casts the song as a breezy, samba-fired slab of early 1970s style Brazilian MPB. It's an inspired interpretation and could well become the definitive version of the track.
Review: Berlin-based Miami man David Gtronic has been busy these past few years, working closely with Randall M, Chad Andrew, Dudley Strangeways and many more besides. He's going it alone with this inaugural release for Black Wood, relishing the opportunity to explore his craft across three original productions. "Ardl Dub" is a dense, shuffling minimal house production primed for working into a long and flowing set, while "Lexiwedin" showcases a more reflective side to the producer with sweeping synth tones and a whisper of electro worked into the rhythms. "Sequence" takes the minimal vibe to the next level, folding dubby subtleties into the mix to great effect. Dan Farserelli then steps up with a remix that injects a little boompty bass into the track for a wholly different, dancefloor friendly kind of jam.
Get Up To Get Down (feat Erik Rico - Art Of Tones remix)
The Love Is Gone
The Dub Is Gone
Review: That Hudd Traxx powerhouse keeps on pumping out the jams, with regular Hudd hood Goshawk back in the saddle with some of his most assured beats to date. "Get Up To Get Down" channels a limber, Prince indebted funk, straps it to a simmering house beat and then drafts Erik Rico in for a killer vocal that takes you right back to the best of '90s vocal house. Then Art Of Tones jumps on for a remix that beefs the original up with some more big room elements, as one might well expect from the French titan. "The Love Is Gone" gets into a spaced out disco house frame of mind, which "The Dub Is Gone" then shuffles up into a slinky little groover.
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.
Review: Nino delivers his first well-deserved solo EP on Batti Batti. Originally from Bosnia, but based in Brussels (Belgium), Nino's tracks have always been a perfect representation of a purely deep underground sound. Starting off with a soothing piece of ambience to set the mood , Odysseia EP is aimed for club use and hence depicts Nino's evolving style yet maintaining his secretive and atmospheric element as a common factor.
Review: Although well known on the funk circuit for their incendiary live performances, the Soul Grenades have yet to translate their hard-hitting, horn-heavy sound to wax. It's for this reason that "A Blast Of Funk!", their debut single, has caused such a commotion. It boasts fresh recordings of two of the most popular cover versions in their armoury. The pick of the pair is undoubtedly their riotous rendition of "Get Lucky", which is re-imagined as a tasty funk-soul work out smothered in headline-grabbing, New Orleans style brass. That said, their version of "Louie Louie" is rather good, too, especially the addition of Meters style Hammond organ licks. As played by Craig Charles on BBC 6,The Allergies, Snowboy, Smoov,Boca 45 , Voodoo Cuts, Aldo Vanucci, Daytoner,Dom Servini, Jack & Wayne Hemingway. Don't sleep!
Review: The latest release on DJ Bone's Subject Detroit label is a split 12" featuring Esteban Adame and Santiago Salazar. This is how they do techno, Californian style, and you can tell it from the off. The beats are tough as hell, but there's a sun-kissed vibrancy to the synth work that positively leaps out of the speakers and shakes your cerebellum. Adame leads on the A side with "Guaguanco", an effervescent stomper that takes a turn for the deep when Frequencia jumps on board for a remix. Salazar is in a housey frame of mind on "October 17", letting smooth pads lead the way without losing that all-important impact. The "Dub mix" of the track actually beefs things up with a grinding lead synth pitched at big room scenarios while maintaining a steady tempo.
Review: Minuendo calls upon Vincent Inc and Danijel Kevic to kick off their latest single, and they do so in fine style with the luxurious sweeping chords of "Space". Twinkling pianos, speech samples and a carefully measured set of deep house drums make this the consummate slice of pool-side dance music for those who can still find some sun at this time of year. Lola Allen steps up to the B side with something a little more sassy in the shape of "Afrofusion Jazz". As the title might suggest, there's a mixture of influences tumbling into this track, most notably with some wildly filtered jazz organ and funk licks stewing in the pot, and just when you think it's going to break it swerves off into submerged Moodymann territory. This is unpredictable house music at its finest.
Back Home (original Hip House instrumental mix) (7:17)
Back Home (alternative mix) (7:50)
Back Home (bonus beats) (4:28)
Review: A pioneer for the hip house scene in Chicago back in the 80s, Tyree is still at it thirty years later and sounding as vital as ever. This collaboration with Pure God is a thoroughly different concern to the jacking acid of the early days, bringing a live drum sound, funk bass and even a stirring string lilt into the mix on "Back Home". Whether you plump for the full vocal mix or the stripped back instrumental, it's an anthemic party starting beast of a jam for peak time maneuvers. The "Alternative Mix" of "Back Home" on the B-side is a more classic, throbbing slice of mechanical minimalism for the traditional Chicago jackers out there, and there's some "Bonus Beats" thrown in for good measure too!
Review: DX Recordings returns with a four tracker from Scott Fraser, folllowing on from the inaugural Dariana 12" earlier this year featuring a deep as hell remix from Chicago legend Mystic Bill. 3 different moods of analogue warmth starting off with "No Word Of Truth" a driving Detroit infused groove joining the dots across to Berlin's Basic Channel, with a Deep bassline, rattling tom's and shifting high hats. On B2 Mystic Bill takes the track deeper and darker, adding dubs, soaring vocals and tight percussion this is Mystic Bills trademark deepness at its best. Over on side B we start off with another Aslice of classic deep techno with a heady basslin. Thumping drums and driving strings keeping feet firmly on the danceloor, leaning heavily again towards Detroit a massive bassline rips in and the strobes come on . Finally on B2 another original remastered piece of deepness from the vaults finally see's a full release on vinyl. Simple, deep vibing house finding a loft space somehere that Metro Area were residing in 2000's New York.
Review: With their "Foundations" series, DJ Spinna and Kai Alce continue to explore the formative years of house music culture, offering up seven-inch singles showcasing classic and overlooked gems. This fourth volume in the series contains two more must-have tracks subtly re-edited to fit the format by the effervescent Alce. First up on side A is Dreamer G's vocal anthem "I Got The Feeling", a 1992 NYC house classic - and Timmy Regisford favourite - produced by none other than Kerri Chandler. On the flip Spinna and Alce take us back to 1988, offering up an early New Jersey house production from the "Backroom Boys" team of Cassio Ware, Derek A. Jenkins and Dwayne Richardson, who would later find fame as DJ Spen. A superb song that's as soulful as you'd expect, it's largely been overlooked for over three decades.
Review: As part of Mura Oka, Louis Vial has already been spotted on the excellent Latency label as well as delivering a solo EP to Collapsing Market earlier this year. He once again dons his Eszaid cape on this release for the equally fine Meandyou stable, tapping into the labels predilection for obscure variations on the fringes of house and techno. "777,7" is especially captivating in its insistent cyclical minimalism, drilling straight for the subconscious, while "Eyeless Mannekin" sets adrift in aqueous climes for a proper floatation tank dub techno immersion. Using subtlety as a powerful tool, Eszaid ably matches up to the quality that has come before on Meandyou.
Review: Sasaki Hiroaki has been immersed in electronic music in Japan for longer than most, but it's his more recent diversions into techno and minimal that have provided a solid foundation for his creative arc. He appears here on Open Recordings with some crisply produced, deep-as-you-like tech house joints with more than a little thread of dub about them. "Sprinkler" uses massive clanging chords to shape out the atmosphere of the track, while "Speak" ladles a measured amount of delay and reverb over the mix to make things move just the right amount. Frazer Campbell comes on board to remix "Sprinkler", and does so with an uplifting Detroit techno approach that is as infectious as it is refined. Pablo Tamo takes on "Speak" and injects some reduced 2-step craftiness into its bones.
Review: DJ Deep and Roman Poncet first launched their collaborative project Sergie Rezza back in 2015 on Desire Records, and now the project makes a welcome return with another dose of utterly stellar deep house concoctions that go beyond the average while maintaining a sense of classicism about them. "Envole" is a sumptuous blend of snaking rhythm, spacious pads and cosy keys, all draped in exotic garms that make this a transcendental house cut to treasure. There are also more adventurous trips into percussive territory on the focused and deadly "Le Reveil," crafty jazz diversions to be soaked up on "Max" and poised ambient pieces "Eclipse" and "Procession" to seal the deal.
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.
Review: Next up on Titanic City is Stephen Lopkin, who serves up five new cuts on The Strategic Reserve EP. Stephen is a massive talent and has really turned heads over the last couple of years with releases on M>O>S, Bokhari Records, and RAW Tools. Needles to say we're delighted to have Lopkin on board.
Review: Unsurprisingly, Above Smoke has long been closely associated with his brother Dubbyman's Deep Explorer label, and so it figures that the Spanish artist is releasing his debut album close to home. For those unfamiliar with the sound of Deep Explorer, think of the warmest, soul-inflected deep house rich with natural instrumentation as much as electronic elements and you should have an idea. On the album format Above Smoke has space to branch out into some refined neo soul excursions such as "Don't Stop (Till The Morning)" featuring Kikone's stirring vocal, but as ever it's the exemplary house music that truly defines this album.
Review: Bobby Pleasure's Needs label continues to gather steam behind a message of togetherness, raising money for worth causes and trying to help those less fortunate in society. On this third instalment Lord Of The Isles leads the way with a typically romantic swoon of analogue bass and gorgeous 80s synth strings, while Mehmet Aslan lays down an earthly prowler powered by organic instrumentation. "Trust The Mountain" introduces Petwo Evans with a daring strain of broken electronica heavy on the crackling signal processing. Bartellow's "1001 (Skrillex Theme)" is a craft machine disco workout, and then N-Gynn takes things tropical with the exotic tones and bold drum machine hits of "Jumanji".
Review: After a short break in releases, Plastik People are back with the third installment of the Various People. We see label owner Marc Cotterell up first with his slice of 90's house music, incorperating slick grooves and catchy cut up vocals, along side mark on side A, a new addition to the Plastik People family from london, Charles Caliber, who graces the EP with a stunning soulful house groove called Moving On. On the flip side NYC artist Doug Gomez brings us a classic sounding, deep head nodding track which was originally releases on Frole records and we loved it so much that we decided it needed a vinyl releases, to round off the release, we are very pleased to have Mikki Funk back on Plastik People. he delivers us a splendid cut of UK garage, Mikki Funk has also previously released on RM Records and Music IS Love.
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: The Unblock label hits its seventh release with a split EP featuring rising talents Tato and Tijn. The sound on the 12" fits right in with the previous transmissions from Tuccillo, Tomoki Tamura and more besides, taking a quirky approach to stripped down house and techno dynamics to create intriguing party fodder for inquisitive dancers. Tato's "Estic" does a wondrous job of twisting up tribal percussion with a snaking minimal groove, while "Lusyourmaind" brings a cheeky housey shuffle to the proceedings while keeping things a little mysterious in the same breath. Tijn's "Stranger Things" is a light and airy minimal house jam that contrasts neatly with the hook running through the centre of "Piano Tool".
Review: The Electronic Leatherette label shows its hand straight away with a pointed nod to The Normal and the foundations of Mute Records. Sure enough there's an industrial, new wave and electro fog hanging over the nocturnal transmissions that make up this first release, although it's far from one dimensional throwback music. Vessel In Distress has a chilly sci-fi leaning to its brand of gloomy electro, but that's contrasted by the sprightly robo-funk of Franck Kartell's "Sigma Octantis". MSRG brings the party with the feisty stomp and gnarly synth lines of "Elliptical Wave", and Heinrich Dressel rolls out an evocative night crawler of a track in "Down Upsight", as is his customary style.
Review: The mysterious Monsieur Blue returns for a third time to unfurl more of that supremely elegant, dusky deep house alchemy that has made his first two records so desirable. Capturing the woozy mood of the early evening or the late morning, "Track 1" billows out on a bed of mellow pads and an undulating, shuffling beat. "Track 2" does little to shake things up, instead maintaining that beautifully meditative atmosphere and coasting on gentle filter sweeps and sturdy, rolling percussion. "Track 3" injects a little more bite into the beat without sacrificing the gentle lilt of the melodic content, making this three impeccable slices of the deepest minimal house money can buy.
Review: Hailing from Crimea, Stas Karpenkov's Krym Mryk label is a direct line into the most intriguing techno-oriented diversions transmitting from Russia and Ukraine. In a similar vein to the likes of Udacha and Ghost Zvuk, Krym Mryk is brimming with the kind of originality and expression that makes records such as these essential purchases. "Entity" presents a calm, icy ambient lead in before the quivering, dubby techno pulse of "Yevpatoriya Satellite". "I've Had Enough To Look Down" is a writhing, biomechanical synth work out of the highest order, and "Windswept" finishes the EP off in a gentle blizzard of drones. A serious draw for this record as well is the Stanislav Tolkachev remix, which nudges "Yevpatoriya Satellite" into dynamic broken techno territory with a powerful synth wave channel coursing through it.
Blue Vulva & The Electronic Crooner - "Vulbitch Bazaar"
Review: Minuendo keep things interesting on this latest various artists 12", primarily focusing on Owen Jay and Brian James on the A side for two tracks of adventurous experimentation on the wild frontier of minimal house music. The wobbly synth running through "Niko's Groove" is a real head turner, while "Imagery" nudges the grand tradition of dub house into a new pocket of ambience that draws you in immediately. There's a lovely, classic deep house joint from Untitled called "Seafood", and then Blue Vulva & The Electronic Crooner completely flip the script on the B2 with rowdy acid burner "Vulbitch Bazaar".
Miro SundayMusiq - "From Behind The Corner" (8:39)
Review: Following an excellent EP from Memphis, Animals On Psychedelics returns with more weird and wonderful party fare from the outer reaches. This time it's a various artists release that brings together all the producers involved in the label so far, while also introducing BPMF to the fold with the woozy, rubbery synth shapes of "Liza On Clouds." Jane Fitz and Dom Ahtuam's Invisible Menders project presents the rolling, psyched out melodics of "Three On Three," while Memphis pushes further into experimental territory with the wonderfully fractured "Altered States." That leaves it to Miro SundayMusiq to complete the EP with the wave-meets-Italo tones of "From Behind The Corner," a perfectly noirish flourish to finish a sterling record.
Review: Having cut their teeth on crucial releases for Lux Rec, Pinkman, Broken Dreams and more, Savage Grounds come to Mosaique with more of their dark, spiky industrial and minimal wave deviations. The pair are more than qualified, with Daniele Cosmo being the Lux Rec boss and CCO being a veteran of the punky underground techno scene. This latest release matches up to what they've achieved so far, with "Schnell Ausser Kontrolle" especially standing out with its chunky, forward-thrusting synth hooks matching edginess with catchiness in a most artful of ways. There's plenty of lo-fi experimentation going on, not least on the dystopian gurgle of "Parasomnia", to keep all denizens of the night shocking out under the moon.
Conductive carbon fibres eliminate static charges & fine dust particles
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Review: Josefine Hellstrom Hansson's debut track "Water Cave" on HMWLA received ADJ support from AIlario Alicante, Robert Babicz, Piemont, Slam, Paco Osuna, Horse Meat Disco, Nick Warren, Gabriel Ananda and Ame. Now the Malmo-based producer and DJ readies a three track techno / house EP on HMWL's vinyl sublabel Heartbreak Records. On A-side alongside "Water Cave" Josefine offers a peak hour techno weapon called "Sensus". On B-side we find the smooth melodic "Volcanics" at 118 BPM while fellow swede Martinez deconstructs Sensus into a jazzy, mellow piece of minimal tech.
Review: Having just recently dropped some fresh wares on the Waxing Gibbous 12", London-based production duo OdD return their attention to their Tapes Of Old label and the pursuit or archival material from the vaults. Quite how far back these dusted down gems reach is unclear, but it hardly matters - what's important is whether they bang, and these tracks certainly do that. "Oops" is a pumped up and muscular roller that places all the emphasis on percussion with a tech house tendency. "Abhorrent" is a more introverted affair that explores intricate threads of synth expression in between a dubbed out set of drums, and then "I'm Complete" finishes the record off with a cool, calm and collected trip through the minimal undergrowth.
Review: Immigrant Records launched in 1998 and after a six year hiatus is back with an EP produced by US techno veteran Casey Hogan - his first vinyl release since 2008. Casey emerged in the late 90's with fellow techno legends Adam Beyer, Dietrich Schoenemann, Alexi Delano and Jesper Dahlback and is a pioneer of the original tech-house genre. Now a professional sound engineer, he is back doing what he does best and is currently working on new projects and remixes with Robin Porter for Immigrant and Shva Muzik. The EP's title track "A Time Before Now" was produced back in 2000 and has been pulled from his archives to show what tech-house was, is and should be, with it's shuffling percussion, arresting bass line, pensive chord lines and introspective vocals. "Rebuilding" highlights Casey's ability to create an effortless techno groove that chugs along with undulating sub bass and hypnotic synth patterns. "On The Road" takes a detour down a darker road with a haunting sub bass, trademark shuffling percussion and mesmerising chords.
Review: Hut Vibez Records is a London based vinyl label, with a focus on house and techno.. HV002PT1 is designed for the club systems: the second instalment in the Hut Vibez Records series is a rhythmic release, sure to work the crowd. Jase is now delving deeper into the analogue world, creating music with a organic sound.Through this latest production he delivers two intuitive tracks, which capitalise on the sound vinyl can offer. Resonant and complex, these tracks demonstrate Jase's adept fascination with seeking out new ways to work, bringing a satisfying and exploratory sound to the techno realm.
Red Ken - "Big Love" (Big Four Letter Word mix) (6:17)
Review: Psychemagik love Fleetwood Mac. Their love is so enduring that the dusty fingered editors/DJs/revered record collectors have gone so far as to found Fleetmac Wood, a club night dedicated to the work of Fleetwood, Nicks, McVie and the various other manifestations, where anything goes so long as it's Fleetwood Mac related. Their remix of "Dreams" has been getting playtime at the night - and by other well regarded DJs - and finally makes an appearance on this limited 12". What's immediately noticeable about the Crystal Visions Remix of "Dreams" is how much they add to the track without messing with the original's essence - it's also a lot more inventive than Psychemagik's 2009 edit of "Everywhere" which shows how far they've come in three years. Flip over for a great extension of Juno's favourite Mac moment "Big Love" from AOR Disco's Red Ken.