Review: Berlin/Amsterdam imprint Lowmoneymusiclove has chosen to begin its 2020 release campaign with a debut, specifically the first release from Low Countries twosome Avos (Roderick Merkx & Tjeerd Wijffels). They begin in melodic mood via the bustling beats, tuneful bass and garage style organ stabs of "Illusive Timing", before drifting further towards funk-fuelled tech-house territory on the sleazy peak-time bounce of "Nafra". Arguably even better is the B-side opening "Bassline Dub" of "Nintendeau", where '80s style Fairlight stabs and 8-bit electronics ride a rapidly vibrating bassline and sweaty drum beats. Elsewhere, "Destinated" is deep, dreamy, woozy and properly bass-heavy, while "Shaguarmode" is a jacking affair blessed with chiming, near crystalline electronic melodies.
Review: In a recent online poll hosted by acid evangelist Posthuman, Adonis's "No Way Back" was voted the greatest acid house track of all time. It's hard to argue - though we'd have opted for Phuture's pioneering "Acid Trax" - as the Chicago classic sounds every bit as fresh, futuristic and otherworldly now as it did when it was first released in 1986. This tasty red vinyl reissue from TRAX pairs the much-loved vocal version - in which the late, great Gary B talks about losing control over fiendishly sweaty, ultra-jacking drums and one of the sleaziest, most addictive acid basslines of all time - with the lesser-celebrated, but equally heavy, instrumental mix. If you don't already own a copy, don't sleep.
Still In Love (feat Navasha Daya - The Man 45 edit) (5:16)
Look Ahead (feat N'Dea Davenport - The Man 45 edit) (4:32)
Review: Second time around for Kyoto Jazz Massive man Shuya Okino's "Still in Love", a swelling, string-drenched slab of life-affirming disco-soul, featuring the fine vocals of sometime Fertile Ground chanteuse Navasha Daya. This version is not the same as the epic - and now insanely in-demand - original 2011 version, which came out on legendary Japanese label Especial. This time round, it's been given the seven-inch edit treatment by storied scalpel fiend Ryuhei The Man. His chops, nips and tucks are naturally well-judged, allowing the track's chunky, DJ-friendly drum breaks a chance to do their thing before dropping in Daya's vocal and Okino's stirring strings. It's a suitably respectful and on-point edit, as is the rework of original B-side "Look Ahead" featured on the flip.
Review: House music's ability to make you feel good is part of its appeal, and artists like New Jersey majesty Josh Milan of Blaze fame, and London broken beat astro Kaidi Tatham sure know that. They link here with Patrick Gibin for an EP that brims with summer time soul, joyous keys and funky bass riffs that are impossibly sweet. Jazz funk, house and boogie all colour the tracks here with "Don't Be Rude" brining the cosmic vibes and "Groove On" making you want to move for days with its killer b-line and disco energy. Gorgeous stuff, for sure.
Review: **Tracks 'Sixth Sequence' and 'Tenth Sequence' are bonus tracks & exclusive to the vinyl release only.**
Past Inside The Present is pleased to announce 'Wave Variations' which is a new mini-album by veteran ambient producer Dennis Huddleston AKA 36.
36 has often enjoyed exploring self-imposed restrictions, as it forces him to be creative, while allowing an inherently coherent sound between the different compositions. All the arrangements on Wave Variations use a limited pallete of mostly synth-based sounds, with particular focus on keys and melodies. Each track directly influenced the next one.
Dennis has kept almost every track around three minutes in length. He states, 'I feel like a lot of ambient music (including my own) is often unnecessarily long and these small vignettes work as a nice counter to that. Don't expect long build-ups or over-extended crescendos; These are short tracks that take you straight to Elysium and then dissolve into the ether.'
He further explains the output of Wave Variations, 'Ocean tides inspired the album. I think we've all felt that sense of longing and wonder while standing at the beach, staring at the waves and gazing into the endless horizon. I think it's something that transcends all generations of people. Like the waves, these tracks leave as quickly as they arrive. I feel it's one of the most minimal records I have made, with far fewer individual sound sources at my disposal. It keeps me on my toes and forces me to deeply explore the instruments I have available to me.'
This stripped-back sound gives the album a hypnotic quality to it. Like much of Dennis' work, there is a delicate balance between melancholic melodies and rich textures, resulting in an understated yet deeply exhilarating sound. Fans of emotional, melodic ambient music should find plenty to enjoy.
Review: North London deep house dons Saison are back on No Fuss Records with some sumptuous, discofied grooves that strike the perfect balance between heads-down, no-nonsense dance music and warm musicality. "Cut The Gas" rides on plenty of artfully chopped up disco licks, arranged, filtered and dropped in all the right places. "Wax On Wax Off" has a rich synth palette at its heart, clearly sporting a little Italo flavour in its bones with the smatterings of vocoder and throbbing arpeggios nestled amongst the more organic ingredients. "Top Bunk Boogie" and "What Are We Gonna Do" keep the pressure up on the B side, with the party energy in full force across both tracks and maintaining the same tasteful approach to the source material.
Akabu - "Ride The Storm" (feat Linda Clifford - Saison remix) (7:21)
The Love Symphony Orchestra - "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" (Dr Packer remix) (7:31)
Joey Negro Presents The Sunburst Band - "Everyday" (JN Disco Re-Bump remix) (7:28)
Art Of Tones - "Flower Child" (feat Anduze) (7:01)
Review: Like its numerous predecessors, 16th edition of Z Records' long running "Attack The Dancefloor" series is packed to the rafters with tried and tested dancefloor treats, most of which have never appeared on vinyl before. First up, Saison tackles Akabu's 2001 classic "Ride The Storm", turning it into a deep, bouncy and rubbery chunk of lilting, string-drenched house goodness, before Dr Packer delivers a subtly tooled-up take on The Love Symphony Orchestra's grandiose and sexually-charged 1978 disco classic "Let Me Be Your Fantasy". Label head honcho Joey Negro provides a superb deep disco rework of one of his own productions, the Sunburst Band's 2004 summer sing-along "Everyday", while Art of Tones' "Flower Child" is a flash-fried, disco-funk romp laden with superb lead vocals from Anduze.
Brotherhood (Of The Misunderstood) (feat Autarkic) (4:07)
Udibaby (feat Beatfoot) (3:11)
Review: 2020 marks the tenth of collaboration for Red Axes, the Tel Aviv-based duo of Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi. Informed by post-punk, new wave, and a plethora of club sounds old and new, they have cleaved a singular path with their hefty discography. To celebrate their anniversary, they reunite with Dark Entries for an eponymous 11 track LP brimming with jagged guitars, spacy arpeggios, and hypnotic vocals. Although Sadovnik and Arzi have previously released LPs on I'm A Cliche and Garzen Records, Red Axes is their first effort written and conceived of as an album-length listening experience. This work flows effortlessly through a variety of stylistic detours, highlighting their ears as both keen listeners and skilled DJs. Opener 'They Game' is a grooving number that unifies the psychedelia of cosmic disco with the early 90s 'baggy' sound. The energy mounts further with "Shelera", a guitar-driven acidic banger, and "Sticks and Stones", a certifiable club hit fueled by sassy vocals courtesy of Adi Bronicki. Launching Side B is "Break the Limit", an EBM-laced number that wouldn't sound out of place on a Razormaid compilation. The following tracks wax moodier, with "Brotherhood (Of the Misunderstanding)" touching on darkwave territory. "Udibaby" and "Arpman" close out the album with their respectively dense and sparse takes on kosmische lysergia. Red Axes was mixed by Steve Dub and mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. The album's artwork starkly depicts the project's name in blood-red smear. Also included is a postcard with full credits and album art. It's rare one finds an album that so casually challenges classification while still being firmly rooted on the dancefloor.
Review: In recent times we've been treated to plenty of reissues of classic lover's rock gems, including an Athens of the North-released collection of lover's rock covers. It's therefore rather exciting to hear some brand-new lover's rock in a similar vein from Crucial Rockers, a studio band formed by producer Jamie Searle. The track given the cover treatment is Womack & Womack classic "Teardrops". While that was fiendishly uptempo, this version is sweet, slow and effortlessly soulful, with Searle's warming riddim offering a perfect match for the un-credited vocalist's fine delivery of the Womacks' weary and emotional lyrics. The flipside dub is rather tasty, too. Sadly there aren't many of these around, so act fast if you want to secure a copy!
I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky (Fashion remix) (3:56)
Review: Legendary 70s funk band Ripple are back with two original members making new music again. Curtis "Kazoo" Reynolds & Keith "Doc" Samuels now go by the name of Ripple 2.20 and their first work is a new version of John Edwards' "Exercise My Love." It is a cover, but not as we usually know it - they lay down an incredible new vocal and play the parts with a real sense of sensuousness. On the flip is a new remix of some of Ripple's original material in the form of Fashion's take on "I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky", a raw, dirty, sleazy jam to get you in a sweat.
Review: It may have taken the best part of six months, but Glenn Underground has finally delivered his first new music of 2020. The Chicago house legend is in fine form on "Shake That Body", a warm and jazzy chunk of deep house/disco fusion rich in tasty instrumentation and topped off by a fine female lead vocal courtesy of newcomer T.H.I.C.K. It's accompanied on the A-side by the superb "Dubbl" version, which sees Glenn Underground strip the track back to a killer dub disco groove before bringing back the keys, acoustic guitars, spacey synths and snippets of T.H.I.C.K's vocal. Over on the flip you'll find a seductive "Remix" that subtly moves the track closer to deep, soulful house territory.
Review: There's been plenty of online chatter about the confrontational title of Omar-S's latest full-length outing, and arguably not enough focus on the music itself (or the fact that the guest list contains Rick Wilhite, Norm Talley and OB Ignitt for that matter). This is unfortunate, because as usual Alex 'Omar' Smith has hit the spot. The six untitled tracks are impressively varied, with Smith effortlessly moving between 21st century P-funk (track one), cowbell-powered deep house funk (track 2), sparse and synth-heavy acid house hypnotism (track three), disco-house jack (track four), sub-heavy Detroit-meets-Sheffield minimalism (track five) and sunrise-ready dancefloor dreaminess (track six).
Review: The people behind the Made To Dance re-edit series keep their cards close to their chest, offering up little information about their identities or aims other than some admirable words about drawing on "different musical traditions going beyond classifications". It would be nice to know a little more, because their occasional releases - and this tidy "45" in particular - are really rather good. A-side "Lothar" sees the mystery scalpel fiends make merry with a Latin jazz number, to which they've added squelchy acid lines and a little more dancefloor weight. Arguably even better is percussive and funky flipside "Bad Bad Puma", a tooled-up disco-jazz number that cleverly blends glistening guitar solos, wild Hammond organs, loose-limbed drum-breaks and locked-in, house-style kick-drum patterns.
Review: Fresh from a quietly impressive outing on Cardiology, John "Freak D" Devecchis dons the Owl alias once more and offers up another must-check selection of re-edits and reworks. HE begins by cannily rearranging, tightening up and beefing up a flash-fried slab of later James Brown style funk-rock (the brilliantly bluesy, housed-up "Those Kicks"), before turning his attention to a righteous chunk of what sounds like AOR disco/deep disco-funk fusion ("Chance"). "Feel The Power" is a bouncy, piano-sporting revision of what sounds like a late '80s New York house gem, while title track "Boogie Man" is a subtle, house style remake of a jaunty, honky-tonk style rhythm and blues number.
Review: This is a sure fire reissue of a classic jam from Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud, the eighties hip hop and rap duo whose matching tracksuits and perfectly sharp flat tops tell you all you need to know about their lovably old school style. Both cuts here are snatched from their debut album Girls I Got 'Em Locked in 1987 and immediately take you back to those golden glory days. The titular cut is a chest pumping anthem with big stabs and the flip is a more smooth broken beat with perfectly timed flow.
Review: Unstoppable house machine Javonntte is the second signing for Ten Lovers Music, and he's changing tack and bringing forth a mini-album of luscious jazz inflected grooves to be savoured as an album as much as a collection of DJ cuts. The vision and scope on this record is impressive to say the least - just cop the advanced chord progressions powering the wide-open vistas of "78 Universe", or the wild expression of every instrument coursing through "Galaxies". This is Javonntte going full-flight on his artistry and it sounds impeccable - not one to be missed.
Review: Following her knockout debut album Significant Changes, Jayda G is back on Ninja Tune with a new single that sees her expanding on her distinctive brand of soulful house music with a curious kink in the sound. "Both Of Us" packs in some breathless vocal turns, effervescent piano lines and a bass-loaded groove to sink into. "Are U Down" leans in on a snappy, tech-edged rhythm with a little Prescription-flavoured dreaminess hovering around the synth work. G's "Sunset Bliss Mix" of "Both Of Us" brings a more bruk flavour of drum magic and some dubbed out FX to the track, while the "Remix" of "Are U Down" subtly shifts the accents of the original with some nimble Rhodes fluttering in over the top of that deadly groove.
Take Down Enemies (Special Request Splurgecore remix) (6:17)
Review: Back in March, Jordon Alexander AKA Mall Grab returned to the Looking For Trouble imprint he founded in 2018 with his first missive of the year. Even by his standards, it was a wild, all-action affair, and this follow-up is no less giddy or sweaty. "Take Down Enemies" is a blistering, all-action affair, with Alexander peppering a stomping industrial techno beat with tight acid motifs and cut-up hip-hop vocals. Under the Special Request alias, Paul Woolford offers up a surging, scintillating rework that adds huge dollops of techno-funk to the Australian's slamming original. Elsewhere, "Alarmed" is a more psychedelic and trance-inducing take on Alexander's big room techno template, while "Smash" is a thunderous voyage through body-popping electro nastiness.
Review: Shanti Radio's previous multi-artists EPs were all superb, so it's little surprise to see that the latest also consistently hits the spot. Amonita sets the tone via the soft-focus tech-house shuffle of "Lavender Bloom", where lilting strings, dreamy chords and eyes-closed female vocal samples flutter around a hypnotic groove, before RVNZ offers up the similarly breezy and spring-fresh bliss of "Big Red Machine". Over on side B, Hermazez explores the kind of ultra-melodious and atmospheric hybrid progressive house/tech-house sound that the All Day I Dream label does so well ("Flame Keeper"), while Fulltone unfurls warm and ear-catching melodies and sumptuous chords on sunrise-ready closing cut "Woodland Oracle".
Felipe Gordon - "Deep Like The Hole We Live In" (6:13)
Review: Soon London's SlothBoogie crew will release "Dancing With Friends", a celebratory compilation marking the blog-turned-label's 10th year in operation. This sampler 12" showcases a quartet of cuts from the forthcoming compilation, which is entirely made up of previously unheard productions. Our pick of the bunch is Kassian's fantastically driving and surprisingly low-slung disco-house stomper "Warehouse Discotheque", which more than lives up to its name, though the lo-fi piano-house loop-funk of Leatherette's "Your Love" pushes it close. Elsewhere, Joe Cleen's contribution is a deliciously daring fusion of jazz-funk flourishes and organic deep house jauntiness, while Felipe Gordon's "Deep Like The Hole We Live In" is a woozy skip through hybrid nu-disco/deep house territory.
Review: Much loved and always impassioned vocalist and producer Norma Jean Bell is a firm favourite with greats like Moodymann, and for good reason. here she lands on Pandamonium with a new EP that utilises the voice of soul herself, Miss Aretha Franklin. "Got Me A Mann" is a gossip tinged, chord laced house track that will make you shuffle on the spot as you rejoice your sins. "Libre Comme Un Oiseau (Free As A Bird)" is another roller, this time with more free flowing vocals that ring out above the chunky, organic drums and busted bass. Excellent stuff.
Review: Originally pressed (on a limited run) in 2013, LA Latin funk troupe Boogaloo Assassins have reissued these two spellbinding cover versions again due to public demand. Still on a highly limited run, both cuts need to be in your collection: Dawn Penn's "No No No" gets a strict samba switch with lavish percussion and consistent vocal harmonies throughout while Sonny Henry's "Evil Ways" (best known from its Santana cover) gets the dreamy instrumental treatment where the horns and glocks do the narrating over a tight bed of wood blocks, shakers and liquid Rhodes. Killer stuff and Juno is one of the few stores outside of USA which is carrying the 45. Don't Sleep !
Review: Underground Soul launches din 2016 and has not been in a rush to make headlines. What they have done though is put out a steady, sumptuous and high quality selection of house tunes that continues with this fourth offering. Frank Spirit and Keys Of Lynx come together for it to serve up two fresh cuts that have bumping US house drums and classic London jazz stylings. The one ad only Glenn Underground step sup to remix "Virtue" with his famous sense of musicality then ALT chops up the drums to make for a funky broken beat jam aimed squarely at the floor.
Review: Canadian maestro Jay Tripwire is a long time underground stalwart with countless gold-dust releases to his name, and still the modest artist keeps pushing on with more stellar tech house immersion heaters. Here he's been invited to Euphoria for an EP that burrows into the most shadowy corners of his sound. "H3misphere" is a spooky jam driven by a shuffling groove and offset with some dubby flourishes - a perfectly balanced workout for the club with a seductive air of mystery lingering around the rhythm section. "Werqles" is a lighter affair, but it's no slouch in the freaky department as a plethora of disembodied machine wriggles ping around the crisp 4/4 throwdown. The whole B-side is given over to SIT's "Remux" of "H3misphere", which holds the groove down in a more linear manner but keeps that chilling atmosphere intact just behind the beats.
Review: Acclaimed pianist Greg Foat is a mainstay of the current UK jazz revival thanks to works on Jazzman and Athens of the North. He draws on soul and library music for his inspiration and serves up lush symphonies that are rich in detail, layer and emotion. This new album, which makes use of pedal steel for the first time, goes even more widescreen in its approach and includes powerfully uplifting tracks like "Anticipation" as well as more sensual and slower groovers and languid movers like "Island Life." It is the sound of an artist and composer at the very peak of his powers.
Review: Second time around for the third and final part of electro hero Gerard 'ERP' Hanson's "Evoked Potentials" series, which first hit stores way back in 2011. A-side "Repose" is (quite literally) classic ERP, with Hanson peppering Egyptian Lover style drums and funky synth-bass with chiming lead lines, starburst chords and deep space chords. It's tuneful and picturesque, but will also have you on your feet and throwing shapes in no time at all. Over on the flip, Plant43 (London electro veteran Emile Facey) turns in a very Drexciyan take on "Sensory Process", in the process wrapping Hanson's bittersweet strings and 33rd century electronic motifs around a suitably deep sea electro rhythm.
Review: To our ears, there are few greater golden era dancefloor hip-hop workouts than Main Source's "Looking At The Front Door", a stone-cold classic that remains a much-played anthem decades after it was originally released. Here the 1990 jam gets the reissue treatment. It's available in both vocal and instrumental versions, with both sides doing a great job in showcasing the duo's killer beat - a fine mixture of crunchy drums, woozy electric piano chords, scratched-in samples and toasty bass. Naturally it's the vocal version that we'd reach for more often than not - the trio's flows are particularly good on 'Looking At The Front Door' - but the instrumental is nevertheless a useful tool to have at your disposal.
Review: The third missive from crate-digging reissue specialists Discs of Fun & Love offers up a new pressing of a suitably obscure and hard-to-find private-press gem, Maggie Epting's sole single as Mandisa, 1981's "Summer Love". The song itself is superb: a wonderfully breezy and sun-kissed slab of dewy-eyed soul that sees Epting deliver an emotive lead vocal over a jazz-funk influenced smooth soul groove and plenty of spacey, intergalactic synthesizer sounds. Over on the flip you'll find original B-side "Love's Dream", a quirky, sax-laden slab of electric jazz that features an even bolder and more ear-catching Epting vocal. It's very good, though the real killer resides on the A-side.
Review: It would be fair to say that the Egyptians are not one of the more celebrated soul acts from Cincinatti, Ohio. They released a smattering of seven-inch singles on tiny labels during the early-to-mid 1970s, none of which made much of an impact outside of their local scene. In recent years these 45s have become collector's items, with "Thanks To You" - a super-sweet soul slow-jam rich in harmonic group vocals and effortlessly fluid and jazzy guitar parts - being the most in demand of all. Here the record is finally reissued, with facsimile labels and the same track listing (vocal version on the A-side, instrumental take on the flip). If rare, life-affirming 1970s soul loveliness is your thing, it's well worth a listen.
Review: Berlin-based Korean Peggy Gou has been surprisingly quiet since first bursting onto the scene back in 2016. Here, she returns to action having graduated from Technicolour to parent label Ninja Tune. Many may already have heard EP standout "It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)", a percussively ambidextrous beast based around a bouncy, off-skilter, snare-heavy rhythm track. It has been much discussed online after Gou included it her recent Resident Advisor podcast. On the B-side you'll find tracks representative of her developing style, which draws together elements of European deep house, electro, early '90s U.S house, the rubbery disco eccentricity of Maurice Fulton and the instinctive polyrhythms more often found in traditional African music.
Review: This release marks something of a departure for Athens of the North, a label predominantly known for reissuing ludicrously rare funk and soul sevens. For starters, it's a brand new album, written, performed and produced by jazzman Greg Foat and Warren Hampshire, who's best known for being a member of The Bees. Then there's what it sounds like. While there are nods to the organic, immaculately produced soul of Rotary Connection, for the most part Galaxies Like Grains of Sand is a luscious fusion of hazy, Cinematic Orchestra style jazz, folksy downtempo compositions, and the blissful, head-in-the-clouds bliss of new age influenced ambient. Surprising or not, it's an utterly beguiling album
Take What You Want (feat Ozzy Osbourne & Travis Scott) (3:57)
I'm Gonna Be (3:19)
Staring At The Sun (feat SZA) (2:44)
Sunflower (feat Swae Lee) (2:38)
Goodbyes (Young Thug) (2:54)
I Know (2:19)
Review: This third album from Post Malone was his second to top the Billboard 200 Chart. Once again it was defined by his melancholic style but was also filled with plenty of charm thanks to his versatile voice. His choruses once again shine through whether he's snarling and angry or more vulnerable and falsetto. Fans call it his best yet and the blend of genres he explores here certainly make that a fair shout. Add in the fact that Ozzy, La flame and SZA all feature and he might well have outdone himself.
Review: Last time out, Longhair popped up on Claptrap with a fine EP that effortlessly joined the dots between turn-of-the-'90s dream house, breakbeat-driven deep house and colourful nu-disco. They've slightly switched focus on this Love On The Rocks label debut, adding big rays of sweltering Balearic sunshine to their usual warming and kaleidoscopic sound palette. In its original form, "The Forbidden Dance" brilliantly re-purposes the melody from a familiar old Mediterranean instrumental number (you'll recognise it when you hear it), re-playing it on sparkling synthesizer settings and layering it atop a tactile deep house groove awash with vibrant nu-disco sounds. Arguably even better is the almost beat-free flipside "Rhumba Mix", which reminded us of those bonus "ambient house" versions you used to get on Italian dream house EPs.
Review: The first missive on Dublin's freshly minted, vinyl-only Space Shepherd label comes courtesy of Maltese producer Sound Synthesis, an experienced but still little-known artist within the global electro community. As you'd expect, the quality threshold remains high from start to finish. Opener "Arpeggiate" cloaks a squelching bassline and crunchy electro beats in sumptuous chords and sci-fi melodies, while "Diving In" adds sharp and mind-altering acid lines to the same far-sighted electro template. Sound Synthesis explores darker, horror soundtrack-influenced acid-electro pastures on B-side opener "Arp Reaktor", before rounding off a fine EP via the poignant chords, widescreen strings and bustling beats of "Love Drones"
Review: Mathew Halsall's Gondwana label out of Manchester is one of contemporary jazz's finest. His own work forms the vital backbone, but his A&R skill also brings on board the likes of Mammal Hands, a band driven by piano, sax and piano. Their ethereal sound captivates the mind and takes it on heavenly trips that can be loose and freewheeling and more tight and kinetic. Both of those styles are showcased on this latest and greatest 7". "Chaser" is a high tempo adventure on slick drums and urgent sax playing while "Prism" suspends you in clouds of pillowy sound.