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.
The Family Daptone - "Hey Brother (Do Unto Others)" (3:52)
Soul Fugue - "The 100 Knights Orchestra" (4:58)
Review: Soul and funk heads won't want to miss this very special seven-inch from the Daptone Records crew, and not just because it's the label's 100th "45". The A-side features an all-star '60s soul cover of the Frightnrs rock-steady cut featuring vocal contributions from Saun and Starr, James Hunter, Lee Fields, Naomi Shelton, Duke Amayo, the Frightnrs and two legends who are no longer with us: Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones. It's a one-off that won't be repeated for obvious reasons, but more importantly it's very, very good. Over on the flip main man Bosco Mann takes charge, conducting and producing "two opposing armies" of woodwind and horn players from the label's expansive musical roster. As you'd expect, it's something of an epic.
Review: Alberto De Santiago has already slipped out a few killer edit-rich hits, which drew favourable attention from Spanish label Night Shift. He launches the Discollection EP with the soul-soaked feel-good flavour of "Love Sauce," steeped in the finest disco ingredients to inspire impassioned expression on the floor. The heat stays right up for "Since I've Been Gone", which is packed full of Philly strings aplenty and enough dramatic drops and chops to melt even the hardest frown. "Most Expensive Diamond" and "All The Way" have that magic touch too - these are loud and proud vocal edits to get people dancing on the ceiling. You can't go wrong with classic source material like this - Never Dull indeed.
Turn Me Loose/My Design (extended version) (13:58)
Turn Me Loose (Sirs cut) (10:32)
Review: Best Records present another deep cover jam Balearic diggers will rejoice at being able to lay their hands on. Blue Night was the brainchild of Peter Miconi, who created "Turn Me Loose" in 1983. All the elements are present here, from the aching blue-eyed soul vocals to rich guitar solos and an irrepressible funk bedded down in the groove, here stretching out for a full 14 minutes of pure sunkissed bliss. On the flip, SIRS takes a careful run at the original that simply reframes the elements with a more pronounced rhythm section - this is someone who knows exactly what the track needs and declines to change anything for the sake of it. Classy stuff, as you would expect from a reissue on Best Records.
Review: Best Records sure love their jams from 1983, and they've dusted down another impeccable Balearic curio from one hit wonder Flayer. Originally released on F1 Team, "Wanna Get Back Your Love" sets adrift in a truly dazzling bed of woozy pads and airy vocals that have pure escapism at the top of the agenda. On the A side, this hypnagogic adventure stretches out over a wonderful eight minute extended mix, while the B side features two alternative versions that offer subtly adjusted, abridged versions to give you many different ways to run at this heavy-lidded blast of balladry.
Review: You should know by now that Plastik People is the go-to spot for the most upfront garage house done in a classic style, and they're spelling it out good and proper with The Sound Of Garage House. Marc Cotterell leads the way with the jazzy vibes and deliciously liquid chords of "Those Days" before Ed The Spread brings a nagging shuffle and sharp string stabs to hard-stepping bumper "The Bauhaus Movement". Grant Nelson keeps things tuff with the natty piano hooks and diva slices of "Move Close" while Rocket Dubz ups the funk to 11 for hands in the air party starter "Dirty Bath".
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.
Good Good Lovin' (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) (3:58)
Review: Recently, legendary American dance producer Arthur Baker discovered two tracks in his storage on 1/4" tape recorded in 1979. He asked Hifi Sean (aka Sean Dickson of The Soup Dragons) to rework them - who brought on board Riot Recordings boss Yam Who? and they quickly got to work resurrecting these soulful disco anthems. On the A side, we have the souled-up disco power of "Reachin'" featuring Minnie Gardner's powerful vocals, then get prepared to get down proper to the group vocals and epic brass section in the uplifting "Good Good Lovin'" (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) all accompanied by Baker's immaculate production style.
Review: Brazilian label Allnite Music is back with another sure shot from label boss Apoena that locks into an immersive, head-nodding groove from the get go. "Retoside" is a perfect deep house burner, understated and yet utterly grooving where it counts. "Attachment" has a more sprightly, uplifting quality tailored to sunny situations, while "Hemp Restriction" takes things in an airy direction while rocking a solid 90s backbone. "The Sutilties" completes the set with a dreamy roller splash, with sweet leads and some chopped up vocal hooks that accent the innate funk of the track in fine style.
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 "184.108.40.206 (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.
Evasion 85 - "Van La Ka Vante" (Omar Mendez TD Fix) (3:55)
Bessoso - "Para Decir Que Te Quiero" (4:45)
Goma-Laca - "Do Pila" (feat Karina Buhr) (4:38)
Equipe Radio Cidade - "Bon Tempos" (2:34)
Voilaaa - "Spies Are Watching Me" (4:56)
Blyk Tchutchi Loy Dtchutchi - "Mandamento De Deus" (3:43)
Gordon Henderson - "The Highest Bidder" (3:21)
Simon Jurad - "Macadam" (3:35)
Mubashira Mataali Group - "Emaali Ya Bamulekwa Orphans Property" (2:42)
Eko Roosevelt Louis - "Tondoho Mba" (4:41)
Slim Young - "Otan Hunu" (4:48)
Jacinta Sanches & Pedro Ramos - "Vizinha Ka Bale" (3:13)
Andre Marceline - "Candencedisco" (4:17)
Misumami First Touch - "Prove Your Love" (4:01)
Alma Luma - "Princesa Isabel" (3:36)
Review: While he's been offering up some sizzling solo albums of late, French DJ/producer GUTS is still arguably better known as the seasoned selector behind the excellent "Beach Diggin'" compilations. Here he offers up another compilation, this time showcasing tried-and-tested tracks that have been rocking his DJ sets for the last few years. Mostly focused around club-friendly global sounds past and present, the 17-track selection is full of little known killers, overlooked dancefloor workouts and forgotten gems. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the horn-sporting boogie-zouk bounce of Evasion 85's "Van La Ka Vante" and the cheeky "Rappers Delight" re-write "Bon Tempos" by Equipe Radio Cidade, to the sparkling Afro-disco heat of Eko Roosevelt Louis' "Tondoho Mba" and the righteous Afro-Brazilian drum workout that is Alma Luma's "Princesa Isabel".
Review: There's much to admire about Andrew Wilson and John Tanner's second collaborative full-length, which sees them build on the fluid and atmospheric ambient of 2016 debut "69". Utilizing a relatively small array of instruments - mainly piano, acoustic guitar and a few choice synthesizers - the pair serves up ear-catching soundscapes wrapped in atmospheric field recordings and just the right amount of processed effects. For the most part their compositions are summery and seductive, emphasizing unfussy combinations of melodic refrains and positive chord progressions. There are, though, one or two more experimental cuts, with the tipsy, slow-motion shuffle of "Idle" and spaced-out "Safe Bird" standing out.
Review: Phil Gerus is a rising talent that fits right into the (Emotional) Especial mould with his sharply realised 80s bombast and dynamic electro funk production style. Treating body-popping club tracks as a vessel for heartfelt expression, these tracks have it all from Linn Drum boogie to fully capable instrumental chops, all shot through with Gerus' choice new wave vocals. Lauer hops on board for a seductive remix of "Still Blind" that ups the sensual intensity of the track while keeping the club foremost in his mind, before Jamie Paton steps up on the flip with a couple of freakier turns that dub the original out into deadly, spooky jams for more adventurous party people to get loose to.
A2 (feat Loa Myst & Nu Fvnk - El Buho remix) (6:53)
A1 (Sooma remix) (7:32)
Review: The Banana Hill crew continue in their quest to represent some of the finest sounds transmitting from the African continent, this time showcasing the immersive ruminations of Kenya's Jinku. "A1" takes a seriously deep trip into stripped back house percussion and atmospheric vocal chants, while "N1" sports a more jagged rhythm section that meanders through emotive suites of sound before the mellower downtempo mood of "N2". On the flip, "A2" features moody vocal turns from Loa Myst and Nu Fvnk that suit the laconic house structure, which El Buho gently nudges into a more crooked remix without losing the heady atmosphere. Sooma then tackles "A1" and ups the bass-led house pressure with a measured touch that respectfully embellishes the original.
Review: Italian producer Reekee is back on his Wrong Notes label with another assured take on the soulful house template, which leads in with the bugged-out funk of "Another Day." Erik Rico's vocals sound on-point for this track, pushing Reekee's production into the stratosphere. "Tell Me Something" keeps the vibe resolutely deep, while "Feel Good" shuffles through a heads down club workout of the highest caliber. You'd be forgiven for thinking this record was landing on a label like Kai Alce's NDATL. Patrice Scott lends his masterful touch to "Another Day", edging the track into a different plain of emotional expression without losing the focus of Rico's vocal.
Review: Resurgent Welsh techno wizard DJ Guy launches his own label with a fresh batch of deep diving jams that put the soul back in the machine. From the twinkling, starry-eyed delights of "Music Is Life" to the horizontal meditation of "Interplanetary," this is immaculately executed electronica in the fine tradition of UK trailblazers like B12 that sounds as fresh as it did in the 90s. "Warmth In Rhythm" sports a nagging house groove to suck you in with ease, while "Propulsion State" fires off a dazzling arpeggio that heads skywards with a twitchy electro backbone for company. Top shelf tackle from a seriously talented cat.
Review: Earlier in the year, Samosa Records launched the "Funk Purpose" series via a multi-artist collection of top-notch edits. Volume two will be released in several parts, with this rock solid EP the first to drop. Glaswegian scalpel fiend Al Kent kicks things off with "Where", a superb traditionalist rearrangement of a soaring, orchestrated disco-funk cut that has the potential to become a screaming, soul-fired anthem this summer. Raw Slavs opt for a loose and groovy, slightly housed-up vibe on their succulent disco re-edit, "Born In R", before the Tropical Disco Records crew takes on side B. Moodena and Sartorial's "Got That Feeling" is a bumpin' disco-house revision of a soulful disco groover, while Hotmood's "700 Copies" is a deep, bass-heavy jaunt through cowbell-laden jazz-funk/house fusion.
Steve Monite - "Only You" (Frankie Francis Disco Jam edit) (7:55)
Tabu Ley Rochereau - "Hafi Deo" (Nick The Record & Dan Tyler re-edit dub) (10:15)
Review: Edits in the hole! Two Afrofunk gems enjoy floor-primed refocuses: Steve Monite's Doing It In Lagos-featured "Only You" gets a little juice from Sofrito's Frankie Francis who really brings the bass out in proceedings. Meanwhile on the B Nick The Record and Idjut Boy Dan Tyler tweak the energy and sheen of Tabu Ley Rochereau's "Hafi Disco" as the drums are given a little more momentum and the chorus and horns are really brought to the centre of the action. Stunning.
Review: Thus far all we know about Wilson Phoenix is pressed into the previous two records the anonymous operator has released so far in 2018. That should be enough for techno heads with their ears to the ground - this is rough and ready hardware business for those who like it nasty. While not perhaps as willfully unhinged as Neil Landstrumm, it's very much in that sonic ballpark, not least on relentless acidic opener "Between Mars." Things get a little freakier with the pinging electro delights of "Moon Machine" before the rowdy rave beast "Exo Planet" levels the landscape with some brutal synth stabs that would sound at home on an early The Prodigy record.
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".
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: It's been a hot minute since we heard something new from Och, but he's back on Autoreply with a double 12" of high-grade, stripped back tech house shot through with oodles of imagination. "Panamax" is the consummate dubby house track, a true immersion chamber of a track, while "The Sadness" brings a shuffling groove and some peppy key stabs to the table. "The Healer" is a more overtly minimal affair that would sound at home on PAL SL, while "Linear Response Function" keeps things tight and focused with a sturdy rhythmic framework and some spartan piano notes. "Incompressible Flow" has a submerged jazzy undercurrent to it, and "Lovers Roll" gets into that freaky house bounce heard on "The Sadness". Overall, it's another sterling grip of refined tracks from a seasoned pro.
Review: HVL has landed on many different labels in recent years, but Rough House Rosie will always be something of a spiritual home for the adventurous deep electro and techno craftsman. Across the Hidden Valley EP he displays a fluid, instinctive approach to composition - "Enslaver" rolls out like a live jam but the detail and control embedded in the track is astounding. "Distom Spook" is charged with nervous acidic energy, while "Lemon Stealer" takes things in a more experimental direction with all manner of snaking synth voices wriggling around a crisp electro beat. "Crow Hill" finishes the EP off with a slow, rolling breakbeat groove and hazy pads for a quintessential B2 wind-down session.
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: 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.
Review: Emotional Rescue unearth yet another pearl of curiosity from the mists of the 80s here, kicking off a series looking at the work of guitarist Carl Weingarten. This album is a fine place to start, as Weingarten teams up with Walter Whitney for an engrossing exploration of ambient synth work merged with careful use of slide guitar and more besides. It's very much of its time, originally released on Multiphase in 1985, and it's as charming and naive as it is accomplished. There's a new age sweetness to the harmonic composition, but the sound palette is deceptively deep, not least thanks to Weingarten's multifaceted approaches to his instrument. Dreaming In Colours sets a promising tone for what the rest of the series holds.
Review: Times Are Ruff is back on Tommorow Is Now, Kid! with a whole album's worth of that fiery, soul-stewing business for deep house heads who want a little spice in their sauce. On one hand "Wingman" is a brash, stomping cut shaped out by snappy drums, but on the other it's a smooth Rhodes laden affair soaring to the sky - the best of both worlds. "Treehouse" is a more flowing affair peppered with illustrious instrumentation, "Funky Town" gets locked into the New Jersey swing and "In Between" cools things down with a sweet instrumental. "What About Samira" gets right back to it with a rattling jazz funk excursion, "Seven" takes things in a tougher electronic direction, "Behind The Curtain" gets reflective in its lingering chords and then "Nero Verde" finishes the bumper pack of jams off on a pointed, modernist house tip.
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: Super Tuff is a relatively new concern hailing from Brooklyn, committed to presenting a broad range of talent from the more curious corners of the house spectrum. On this third release we're introduced to the delightful sound of DJ Heure, who unfurls wonderful pattering percussion, jazzy notes and a mellow, ambient finish to pull at the heartstrings. There's a slightly more forthright thump to Hot Coffee's "On The Verge", but it's still a dusky twist on the typical deep house formula. Label boss M. Vaughan brings things a little more upfront on "Man 2 Man", and top-drawer German producer Tilman weaves a rich and invigorating tale with his swooning "A Day To Remember".
Review: After years spent supporting the underground IDM scene digitally, Glasgow label Ambidextrous makes the leap to vinyl with this killer compilation of ear-catching deep techno and electronica. Christ brings a bubbling range of synth tones to "Rom" before Norken and Nyquist drop some brooding electro tones over rolling beats on"Od Detot". Solipsism has a more sassy house sound to impart, while Nyquist goes into full electro mode on his own. On the flip, Analogue Audio Association have some edgy acid to throw down, Cyan341 brings a touch of boogie flex to the record and Mich Chillage rounds the record off with emotive outboard electronics of a reflective nature.
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.
K'Alexi Shelby - "That Old Chicago" (Sims JFF edit)
Scott Franka - "Francine" (Acid mix)
Barrow Boy - "Shacid"
Review: Stealth Mission has a rugged, old skool approach to acid techno that makes it seriously potent material for those who like their parties dark and nasty. The likes of Andreas Gehm (RIP) and Mark Ambrose have appeared on the label before, and now there's a third selection of scuffed and scraped warehouse belters to feast your ears on. Naked Eye People are back once again with an understated breakbeat roll and a devilish 303 line on "Jungle Acid," while K'Alexi Shelby takes no prisoners on the brittle drum jacker "That Old Chicago." Scott Franka's "Francine" is a surprisingly emotive but no less gritty acid trip, and then Barrow Boy ramps up the intensity with squelchy techno beast "Shacid."
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: 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.
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".
Review: Prolific and long-serving Canadian producer Fred Everything is never one to rest on his laurels, but it's been no less than 10 years since he last released an album (the classic Lost Together on Om Records). Now he finally returns to the long player format on his own Lazy Days label with the appropriately titled Long Way Home, a widescreen exploration of his sound via all manner of styles. There's gorgeous broken beat and neo soul, slow-strutting electronic disco and modern boogie, and that's just the A side of this expansive 12-track album. Warm, immaculately produced and unafraid of embracing pop as much as underground styles, it's a masterful return from Mr. Everything.
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: Dubbyman is on a roll with his releases at the moment, not least thanks to his incredible Deep Is Dead album landing recently on Deep Explorer. This time the Spanish deep house maestro is helping launch First Floor with an original jam that revels in a blanket of fog. "So Far" is the deepest of house jams, rolling along slowly and smoky without losing its presence, thanks in no small part to the soulful croon of the unnamed vocalist. Leo Gunn then steps up for the B-side, remixing "So Far" into a sprightly terrace anthem replete with snappy piano chords to warm your cockles, but fear not because that all-encompassing Dubbyman vibe persists throughout this release.
Review: Bliq Records fire up the coffers for 2018 with a new jam from Iakovos, otherwise known as Lowjac and spotted in groups such as Anopolis and Deemonlover. He's a regular on Bliq, and steps up under his own name with seriously on-point club tackle for those who like their hybrid sounds. "Singers" straps some breakbeat choppage to a mellow deep techno stomp, while "Evil Flower" unfurls in a fit of edgy electro before "Adidas People" cools things down with a focused trip into straight up psych-out techno. "Hackney Tower" finishes the EP off on a wonderfully creepy tip, all skin-crawling acidic gurgles and unsettling voices to inspire paranoid glances in the club.
Review: Spanish label Bucketround kicks off a new series called Deep Encounters with this four-track various artists release from some lesser known talents with some seriously fresh ideas. Jesus Gonsev taps into the mood of labels like Pleasure Zone and the stripped down Romanian sound, but there's other forces at work in the meditative bliss of "Terminal 5". Tominori Hosoya takes things in the direction of Dubbymann style deep house, all pattering bongos and sweeping melodic content before Allstar Motomusic brings a tougher, old-skool New York approach to steamy house music. Manuel Costela finishes the EP off with the delicately balanced "Mind Purveyor", holding back on the drums and leading with the chords instead.
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: 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.
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.