Review: We're rather excited by the prospect of Blue Note's forthcoming "Reimagined" compilation, which sees a variety of rising stars from the UK's jazz, soul and R&B scenes delivering new interpretations of classic cuts from the legendary jazz label's vast back catalogue. This teaser single features two of the more striking and talked-about covers. Jorja Smith takes on St Germain's early noughties jazz-house masterpiece "Rose Rouge", brilliantly re-imagining it as a deep, fluid and dreamy nu-jazz number rich in authentic instrumentation, shimmering electronics and effortlessly soulful vocals. It's genuinely brilliant. Over on the flip, the Ezra Project takes on Wayne Shorter's "Footprints", somehow mixing up hip-hop, post-bop jazz, funk and Afrobeat to create a stunning new interpretation. There aren't many of these around, so act fast to avoid disappointment.
Review: Had we been able to flock to clubs and festivals this summer, this soaring disco earworm from Belgian nu-disco don and French legend Dimitri From Paris would have sound-tracked many a giddy, hedonistic moment. In its original "Extended Vocal Mix" form,"Can't Get Enough" is a sublime slice of authentically celebratory disco revivalism laden topped off with a superb lead vocal from singer Leela. The accompanying "Dubstrumental" also hits all of the right turn-of-the-80s disco dub mix notes - think extended percussion breaks, stripped-back instrumental passages etc - while Yuksek's fine remix takes the track further towards "French Touch" style disco-house territory with an added dose of delay-laden proto-house magic. Big!
Review: Following release on Furthur Electronix, Computer Controlled, AC Records, Lunar Disko, Seagrave, Alphabet Set & more, Irish producer Cignol makes his debut outing on 20/20 Vision with 'Past Futures'. The four track EP serves up potent break beat electro with razor-sharp acid tinges, deep baselines and atmospheric synths.
Cignol's ability to craft emotive soundscapes is exemplified on the opener 'Past Futures' with deep electro groove 'Virtual Array' following up on the A-Side. On the B-side 'Gantm' & 'Lessoned By Lessons' lift the tone into lighter spaces whilst still unfolding emotive melodies and driving break beat grooves.
Review: Constant Sound welcome a true stalwart of underground UK house and techno, the one and only 100HZ. Lee Renacre has been delivering distinctive club tracks with an ear-snagging kink since the early '90s, and he's sounding as inspired as ever on this new release. "Jive" skips and swings with urgency, but the synths soar like the loftiest Motor City anthems. "Honkey (Crazy Hats)" is a more obscure affair that uses subtle inflections of rhythm and texture to create an immersive trip anchored to a steady kick. "Ochos" is a dreamier cut that places the emphasis on melody and atmospherics rather than straight up beats, creating a beautiful slice of machine soul in the process.
Review: Further proof of the current rude health of Paris's deep house scene arrives in the shape of another rock solid EP from prolific producer Mickael Jeanerret, AKA Janeret. The Bright E.P more than lives up to its' name, with the title track delivering a near perfect blend of bushy-eyed beats, ethereal pads, deep space riffs and fluttering, manipulated vocal samples. The EP's other original cut, "Rear", boasts similarly drifting chords, but also a tech-tinged beat pattern that's as bold and funky as they come. Rising star Varhat does a terrific job remixing "Bright", retaining Jeanerret's dub techno-inspired textures, whilst adding his own Syclops-inspired synth bassline.