Review: St. Petersburg-based imprint Soviett is rather restrained when it comes to releasing music on wax, with this tidy EP marking only their third vinyl excursion in as many years. It is, though, packed with quietly impressive treats. Label co-founder Ivan Starzev kicks things off via the woozy melodies, dreamy chords and Pet Shop Boys circa "Behaviour" grooves of "Waiting", before Claes Rosen ups the tempo a little via the liquid deep house bounce of the undeniably picturesque "Cumulus". Over on side B, Hideo Kobayashi wraps warm and drowsy chords and trippy acid lines around a chunky, dub-fired deep house groove on "Perfect Perception", while Nightdrive joins the dots between analogue disco, razor-sharp synth pop and hazy deep house on tasty closing cut "Je T Aime".
Review: Blue Feather were a truly blue-eyed funk outfit from the Netherlands who had a prolific run in the 80s with two albums and a string of club singles to their name. "Let's Funk Tonight" was surely one of their bigger hits, and it sounds resplendent with a fresh master and the full extended version spread out across the A side here. Offering something new for the modern market, Best call upon Faze Action to flesh out this reissue with a killer dub of the track that treads softly but funks deep, just like a good dub should.
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (Michael Gray vocal mix) (8:40)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (Michael Gray dub mix) (6:19)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (vocal mix) (7:45)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (instrumental mix) (6:58)
Review: For their latest trick, Yam Who's Riot label has decided to offer up a brand new edition of Alton Edwards' 1981 UK electrofunk classic "I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You)". You'll find Edwards' superb original vocal version on the flip, where his part whispered, part sung vocals rise above thickset, mind-altering synth-bass, drum machine beats and some seriously punchy horn lines. The obligatory 21st century updates come courtesy of Full Intention man Michael Gray, who delivers a suitably pumped up boogie-house vocal revision before dropping a similarly chunky dub that wisely makes much of the original bassline and Edwards' whispered vocal passages.
Review: Having appeared on the likes of Nous Disques, Dream Eater and Collection Artaud, it was only a matter of time before London beat splicer J-Shadow's glacial, unnerving textures and sounds would find a home on Bun The Grid. With strong senses of techno and electro deep in the low-end mix, highlights include the nutty, almost breakcore style flippery of "No Gravity" the powerful technoid dirge of the title track "Embers". Loaded with remixes from none other than Etch and Danny Scrilla, once again BTG have spoilt us rotten.
Review: Following outstanding EPs from Javonntte and Malik Alston, JVXTA returns to the Hardmatter label he co-founded back in 2017. The three-tracker is rather wonderful all told, with the London-based producer expertly combining vocal and orchestral samples from vintage, mid 20th century records with twinkling new electric piano lines, sumptuous chords and luxurious deep house grooves. Dewy-eyed lead cut "Possible" is particularly potent, with JVXTA underpinning loved-up female vocals and simmering jazz-soul instrumentation with bumping beats and drowsy new chords. He continues on a similar theme on the flip, where the ultra-deep, woozy and dreamy "Suzuku Dream" is followed by the equally evocative and smoky "Here I'll Stay", where breezy flute solos, fluid harp motifs and simmering orchestration rises above another bluesy deep house groove.
Review: Mark Ambrose brings his years of expertise in the deeper end of the techno spectrum to bear on this latest joint for Crayon, the label he founded way back in the mid 90s. "Destiny Angel" is a stomping, expansive cut with a cinematic lilt to its sound design and melodic progression - one for people to truly travel on. "Bleeps & Bits" is a more rugged workout that digs deep into intricate rhythm programming and FX processing to create a unique future-tribal flavour. "Just Tonight" keeps the beats dynamic and broken, but with a much hookier punch and some choice vocal snippets that should find favour with all kinds of DJs.
Review: For the sixth missive on his admirable Touch From A Distance label, Panorama Bar/Berghain resident Nick Hoppner has turned to debutant Cameo Blush. The little-known artist hits the ground running with title track "Murky Waters", a superb fusion of two-step influenced electro drums, bleeping electronic melodies and drowsy female vocal snippets. "Hypervisibility" is a deep but weighty chunk of melodic electro bliss, while "Prophet Paradise" is dreamy, languid and sun-kissed, with bright and breezy lead lines and warming chords. Equally as impressive is killer closing cut "Year 2000 Problem", a rumbling breakbeat workout smothered in the kind of blissful electronic flourishes that were such a feature of Isolee classic "Beau Mot Plage".
Review: 1990s sitcom loving beat maker Felix Weatherall returns to Brainfeeder for the first time since the release of his widely acclaimed debut album as Ross From Friends, 2018's "Family Portrait". He's in fine form from the off, with title track "Epiphany" offering a wonderfully intoxicated, off-kilter blend of bustling drum machine breakbeats, hallucinatory electronics, Middle Eastern style instrumentation and razor-sharp bass. He continues on an inventive fusion trip in the form of "The Revolution", where cut-up vocal samples and bluesy guitar lines rise and fall above a densely percussive deep house groove. Also impressive is "Phantom Ratio", a slightly more driving dancefloor cut rich in skittish drums and undulating electronic melodies.
Review: Distant Worlds is a label going from strength to strength as it carries the work of underground deep techno producers celebrating that hopelessly romantic strain of UK machine music that emanated out of labels like B12 and Pure Plastic. Mihail P makes a return to the label after last year's "Multiverse EP", channeling all the right moves for a blissful trip into imagined sci-fi vistas fuelled by the box jam funk of electro and the synapse-tickling soundscapes of Tangerine Dream et al. From the dreamy delights of "Kessel Run" to the downtempo groove of "Sons Of October", this is beautifully executed music that champions electronic music with real heart and soul.
Quadrant, Iris, Ulterior Motive - "Intuition" (6:04)
Review: Guidance strike again! Two sides, two vibes: first up the label bossmen Ulterior Motive continue their ripping vein of form with the weapon's grade stepper "Trip Hammer" that hits with serious space around every gritty funk element. Flip for a hook-up with dynamic US duo Quadrant & Iris as we're taken down a wormhole of dark delights at a white knuckle pace that doesn't let up. Huge shouts to Guidance right here.
Review: Pascal Benjamin is next up on Constant Black, following strong prior bouts from Michael James and Daniel Akbar. The Dutch producer has been dropping bombs on SlapFunk, Botanic Minds and many more in recent years, and he's sounding taut and toned on this slab of after-hours goodness. "Rascale" is one of those snaking tech house joints where the devil is in the details, crying out for a crisp soundsystem to bring the subtleties of sound design to life. "5th Snooze" is a more tightly wound affair with a subtle jazziness rubbed into its joints, while "Full Colour" brings the kind of funky bump and trippy mood you used to find on the Trapez label. "Liez" completes the set with a sharp approach that wriggles its way under the skin.
One More Round (86 House mix By Frankie Knuckles) (8:10)
Walkman (86 House mix By Brett Wilcots) (7:17)
Review: Best turn their attention to that sweet mid 80s spot when the petri dish of party music was shaken up between disco, boogie, Italo and the emergent house sound from Chicago. Claudio Simonetti was a titan of the Italian groove, but his monster jam as Kasso, "One More Round", reached the stratosphere when Windy City godfather Frankie Knuckles gave the track his Midas touch. No more justification is needed for this pressing, but don't overlook the flip which finds 80s remix supremo Brett Wilcots taking on "Walkman" and whipping up a boogie frenzy of the highest order.
Review: Back to 93! Rave duo Hyper On Experience were absolutely dominating the sets of DJs like Seduction, Carl Cox, Slipmatt and Phantasy and anyone paying attention to the then-fledgling Moving Shadow imprint. Now part of a major remaster and reissue campaign from Kniteforce, their third EP enjoys a timely evaluation: "Disturbance" is the mischievous opener, all impish and no sense of direction (in the best way possible), "Monarch Of The Glen" takes us more into happier territories with some goosebumping pianos and cool halfbeats while "Lil Ruffion" nods heavily to a European drum, all techno and flighty. Reload.
Review: Scrub A Dub dub, two men in a tub. They're called Rapture 4D and newcomer Ruda and they're making some pretty stinking noises. "Hubble Flow Dub" transmits messages to the furthest corners of the cosmic over a rumpy-pumpy bass riff while "Left Hand Path" celebrates all the southpaws of the land with an eerie theramin-led bleep mosaic. Flip for two Rapture originals as "Skylab" takes us right down under the earth's crust with its swampy, gloopy flow and textures and "Kosmos Redshift" closes us on a freaky space jazz trip. Scrub's up!
Review: Silas & Snare continue the heat on Madam X's Kaizen with their second single on the label this year. As always there's no letting up in terms of aesthetic, melting pot and energy. All sitting somewhere in the techno/hardcore/dub axis, "Pressure" lives up to its name with a rolling break, and warped grime basses, "Dreamscape" creates intensity with a loopy vocal hook and densely coded sense of tension while "Whistle Blower" brings us home on a deeper, more broken tip where noises aren't all what they seem. Feeling the pressure yet?
Review: Another carefully considered reissue from Wackie's tackles two of Kingston born John Clarke's tracks from 1978. They first landed on the Jumbo Caribbean Disco label (which was actually based in Brooklyn) and here are just some of the tens of gems he recorded for the imprint. Both tracks are super hazy dubs with the clipped rhythms of "Big Leg Mary" and burrowing lead coming on heavy, while "Wasn't It You" is a smooth and deadly jam. This one has been known to fetch upwards of 100 quid on second hand markets, so move fast to secure yourself a sure fire winner.