Thursday, 30 July 2009

Yousef feat Derrick Carter - Legacy

When two of the biggest names in house from either side of the Atlantic team up, you'd expect the results to be pretty good, and thankfully Legacy is. It's a housier affair than Yousef's recent album A Collection Of Scars And Situations, though there's a definitely techy feel to the beats. Mr Carter supplies a spoken vocal that also provides continuity between this release, and his Squaredancing In A Roundhouse album. Not much else to say, really: Legacy is a bit tougher and more big-room than I'd play in my own DJ sets (ha! like there's many of them!) but it's good all the same.

Release details: This is on Renaissance, a label I shouldn't really have to explain, and it's available now from Beatport, or next week from a bunch of other download sites.

Various - Deep House Part 1

In an era of ‘post-minimal’ this and ‘tech-tinged’ that, it’s easy to forget what ACTUAL PROPER DEEP HOUSE sounds like. Allow Italian rulers of the deep Harley & Muscle to remind you, then, with a two-disc, 26-track collection of the kind of drifty, almost sub-aquatic but resolutely groovy tackle you may just find you’ve subconsciously been fiending for*. Artists featured include Dubbyman, Rick Wade, DJ Aakmael and Ray Valioso and no, I’ve not heard of most of them either – this is the real upfront, underground deal. It will also have the same effect on your ears that a massage and a nice hot bath might have on tired, aching bones. Just gorgeous.


*** Another review that was intended for iDJ... but then Dave Lee went and released a Sunburst Band album, and as he was very kindly guest-editing the issue we couldn't really not review it, so that went in instead at the last minute.


About the label: This is another excellent offering from Germany's Clubstar/Soulstar stable. They've been discussed on these (web) pages before but to find out more click here.


* That's a very iDJ thing to say. If I'd written this just for this blog, I'd ASSUME you were after quality deep bizniss like this.



Filipsson & Lindblad - A Splendor In The Grass

Coming at you on Tirk Recordings offshoot Nang, this could be classed as nu-disco, certainly… but it could just as well be filed under deep house, albeit deep house with a strongly discofied edge, as Chicago-isms and old school Balearic flourishes abound within its 11 glorious tracks. So if disco and deep house are two of your favourite things, you’re gonna love this. Filipsson & Lindblad are an Icelandic/Finnish combo currently based in New York and Berlin, and this album features a track called ‘Daniel Wang Is My Neighbour’. Those two facts alone should make you want to buy it… if not, then suffice to say it’s an album that will please the house diehards and the trendy Hoxton disco cardigans in equal measure, and that’s no mean feat.


*** NB: This review was meant to go in the new iDJ, but didn't by accident. If it had done, it was getting nine stars. Ah well.


About the label: Tirk is one of the bastions of the nu disco movement, and Nang is one of its sub-labels. Read all about disco in all its many forms in the current issue of iDJ – the one with 'Shiny disco balls' on the cover – or find out more about Nang at their website. Or click here for the Tirk website.

Friday, 24 July 2009

SupeRecordings Summer Sampler

SupeRecordings is a new label from the Solemusic/Tronicsole camp, and this is a sampler of three releases that'll be coming atcha over the next couple of months. Jaws by Baracus and OCD by Geoff M & Terence T both tread a slightly more main room and slightly more electro-fied house path than you might expect from the Glasgow boys (which is why they've started new label for them I guess). And then we get a 2009 re-edit of Daddy's Favourite I Feel Good Things For You, which should go down well in the current disco-obsessed times. Can we expect to see disco house/filter disco making a comeback, riding the coat-tails of the nu-disco/cosmic disco vogue? Be interesting to see, anyway.

Look out in iDJ for full reviews of all of these when they get proper releases.

About the label: This is what Geoff, Stevie & the rest of the Sole crew have to say about their new imprint. "SupeRecordings is a label dedicated to bringing top-notch house music made for the dance floor. Our artists will include the new breed of bright, shining new talent as well as some of the scenes more established names to bring you a positively superb line-up of releases. Expect first-class electronica, pulsing, hypnotic grooves, tripped out dubs, scorching vocals and throbbing, percussive rhythms."

Digital Filth - Roots

At the opposite end of the spectrum from the uber-soulful Matthew Bandy release below we have this slab of no-nonsense dancefloor stomp from the aptly-named Digital Filth.

Digital Filth is Paul Carroll from Stoke, has had previous releases on Elektrotribe among others, and once won a remix competition iDJ ran with Spinout Records, as well as appearing in the Ones To Watch section. Filth is a pounding, driving kind of affair. I guess you'd call it techno maybe but 'dirty house' would do as well… only not in the annoying-nasty-noise kinda way that those words often imply these days. Ain't nuthin' but a relentless jackin' groove… and there's a lot to be said for that.

Not even sure if this is coming out or what, but you can hear it at Digital Filth's MySpace. There's also a 'proper' website but the MySpace seems to be more up to date.

Matthew Bandy - Jealous Of You

Got sent this ages ago, but it got put inadvertently aside... sorry Matt for the delay!

Anyway, Matthew Bandy is the UK producer better known as Deep House Souldiers, whose excellent This Is Why We Dance from back in 2003 gave this blog its name. This latest offering sees him treading an even deeper path, with a soulful number that's essentially broken beat but with a deep house sensibility (ie, there's some nice pads). If you dig the Rurals' more soulfully-inclined moments, or the less out-there side of Bugz In The Attic, you should dig this, too. Though if you can work out what the hell the lyrics are about you're clearly a more poetic soul than I am.

About the label: This is on Offering Recordings but I don't know anything about them. Looking at their MySpace, they seem to be based in Belgium and mainly concentrate on Afro kinda shizzle.

Johnson Junior - On Fire

WAY upfront on this one cos it's not actually out for several months, but as this is only a one-track teaser promo thought it might as well go straight up…

On Fire they've called it, but what this actually is, is a remake of MK's classic Burning. And it's a pretty faithful cover, too, or at least faithful to what you imagine the track might sound like if it was made this year and not in 1992: you do get the full vocal, which I THINK has been resung though it's certainly very close to Alana's original.

I expected not to like this, seeing as Burning has to be in my all-time top 20 at least, but it's actually pretty groovy, and they haven't gone all OTT main room electro or anything at all. I can think of a few producers who could do with taking a leaf out of Johnson Junior's book in that respect.

About the label: This comes on Excessive Records, about whom I know nothing except they're based in Holland. They're not on Discogs and their website is under construction so I'm guessing it's a new label but I could be wrong. I am, occasionally.

Brooklyn Friends - Tramp

Something of a killer old school meets new school hook-up here, cos Brooklyn Friends are in fact David Morales and Quentin Harris. And thankfully, Tramp is exactly the kind of quality house offering you'd expect from such a pairing, a fairly lo-slung, rolling kinda groove that'll work any house crowd without a doubt.

Bit confused what's going on release-wise, cos this is out now on Beatport, but apparently it's "taken from the forthcoming EP" Go Back, so who knows what a-gwan? I don't really understand, but then I find I understand less and less as time goes by, generally.

About the label: It's on Nite Grooves, the trackier sibling in the King Street family. Nuff said.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Short Bus Kids - Shout Out EP

And speaking of people who are runnin' tings on the west coast right now (see below), along come those ker-razy Short Bus Kids with another superb EP that totally justifies the praise I've recently been lavishing on them in iDJ. I'm seldom wrong about these things, you know…

The EP kicks off with Shout Out, which uses a reggae/ragga-style vocal, something I've not heard on a deep house track for quite some time. It comes in two mixes, Underground and Club, the latter being a tad more percussive and probably workable for a broader range of jocks, though it's the former that does it for me. Then we get Yah Better Hurry, something of a curveball from the SBK's cos it's a breakbeat-driven number with a hip-hop vocal (albeit from the funkiest and least in-yer-face reaches of the breaks spectrum imaginable), before the EP comes to a close with Tony Montana, a deep house dancefloor romp with a discotheque sheen and samples from… well, I'm guessing you can imagine what film it samples. That's right. Holiday On The Buses*.

About the label: This is the 15th release on Bounce House Recordings, which is the SBKs' own label, and as reliable a source of rumpshakin' deep house as you'll find anywhere in Christendom right now, even if their sleeves are a bit rubbish. Show some love, peeps.

* I seem recently to have developed a morbid fascination with On The Buses. I always used to loathe it with a vengeance, but lately I can't help watching it. Even though it singularly fails to make me laugh, which in the normal run of things would be one of my foremost requirements from a 'comedy'. The whole situation's a bit odd, to be honest.

The Fingermonsters - Freaky People EP

Firstly – what a great name! How can we not love an act called The Fingermonsters? Thankfully the tuneage here delivers on the moniker's promise, too.

You get two mixes apiece of People and Freaky Wit Da Sound. The latter is a jackin' affair that will suit fans of Sneak, Carter etc down to the ground. It's got bags of energy, and its sufficiently twisted and techy to appeal to fans of Dirtybird, Playtime et al as well as more traditional deep house heads. People, meanwhile, is an altogether funkier affair, but still with that hefty boompty swing, that features a looping, treated vocal ("just can't figure out people/that like to talk about people" – not sure if it's a sample, any offers?), then unexpectedly turns into a wobbly bass-fest halfway through. It's big without being stupid, and that's a hard trick to pull off. It comes accompanied by a Jake Childs Remix, which is in a slightly more traditional 'bouncy deep house' vein and has East Midlands written all over it. Which is odd really seeing as he's from Texas.

About the label: This is the latest from Prismatic Recordings, Andrew Phelan's Moulton Studios-based imprint that is pretty much runnin' tings on the west coast at the moment, as far as I can see. Have a look at their website for more info. Or click here for an interesting interview with Jake Childs at Undergroundhouse.net.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Tech My House 3

The best definition of tech-house I ever heard was "it's the stuff that boys call house and girls call techno". To me it's really a non-genre, and more just a hinterland. That said, there's lots of it. And here Berlin-based Elektrotribe have very kindly gathered together 10 tracks' worth for us, on this third installment in the Tech My House series.

Given that much of what gets called 'house' these days – at least by Beatport et al, and by DJs/journalists/PRs/promoters under the age of 30 – is pretty much techno anyway, it's no surprise that Tech My House 3 errs on the 'tech' rather than the 'house' side of things. But it's a pretty good snapshot of the sound of electronic dance music in 2009 (for better or worse). My personal highlight would the rather funky Edition by Digital Filth, with its jaunty Chi-town b-line, but I'm also liking the trippy Funbox by Pete Nouveau… and then there's Ware Road by Tiari which, if I ever make a film and there's a scene where a band of survivors are fleeing clouds of fall-out through a post-apocalyptic urban landscape, I'll use as the soundtrack (quite like it, in other words, but only in a weirded-out, fucks with your head, uneasy listening kinda way).

I should maybe also share with you the fact that I've – gasp! – never taken ketamine. So I'm prepared to accept I might be missing something with music like this. But that's unlikely to change, so you'll have to make your own mind up. When you're done waving at horses*, that is.

About the label: Elektrotribe has been around since 2006, and used to be based in Paris but is now based in Berlin. Previous releases have covered bases from straight-up techno and minimal to techy D&B from Dark Machines and, of course, lots of tech house. At their website you can hear (and buy) the whole catalogue so hit 'em up if that sounds like your kinda thing.

*See In Bruges, one of the funniest films I've seen in a while.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Various - Balearica 2009

You've got to hand it to Spain's Chus & Ceballos and their Stereo Productions label – they stick to their guns in a way the NRA can only envy. Minimal/minimal techno might be the big thing in Spain right now (or so we keep hearing), but here the C&C music factory (see what I did?) continue to plough their well-established tribal/'Iberican' house furrow like it had never gone out of fashion. You've gotta respect that, I think.

The problem with tribal for me, though, is that it does get a bit samey. So while there've been numerous great productions on Stereo over the years, a whole album of this shizzle can soon pall. Still, Balearica 2009 does have its highlights: D-Unity's The Dream is pretty funky (even if the MLK sample is a tad hackneyed), Stay Together by DJ Chus & Jerome Isma-Ae and Rafa Alcantara's Marena are classic vocal tribal à la Danny Tenaglia while the label bosses' own Iberican Sound bears just a hint of minimal influence in its use of a more heavily electronic sound palette, which shows the label isn't entirely standing still.

Overall then it's a not a bad album – once you get past Balearic Soul's excruciating Olé, which is like a housed-up version of Y Viva Espana or Una Paloma Blanca or some other such dire 1970s package holiday cash-in nonsense. I can't imagine I'll be playing it loads but if you dig the whole Iberican, tribal thing, you'll probably love it.

About the label: Stereo Productions is run by Chus & Ceballos and has been doing this kinda thing for years. Find out all you need to know at their rather spiffing website here.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Mr Morning - Stepped Into My Life

Not So Sound's best release ever, but a solid offering all the same from Mr Morning, whose previous single Tomorrow was one of the first TIWWD postings. Step Into My Life features a spoken vocal from Cinnamon over electronic house beats in a vaguely minimal-tinged, Dennis Ferrer/Quentin Harris kinda vein. The 'deep house and poetry' thing has been done, sure, but it works well enough here, and the use of vocal FX is an unusual touch in this kind of track.

Mix-wise you've got Vocal and Instrumental mixes, plus the Cool Ride Mix (basically a more subdued version of the Instrumental, with less synth stabs) and – the pick for dancefloor play – the Chris Hurley Mix, which emphasises the beats and largely dispenses with the prog/minimal-esque synths, making for a more straight-up house affair.

Hear the tracks: At the So Sound website here (you'll need to scroll down a bit when you get there, they're not in the player at the top)

About the label: As you might have twigged, this comes atcha on the ever-checkable So Sound out of Miami.

Skism - Rise Of The Idiots

One of the most immediately enticing dubstep tunes I've heard all year, Rise Of The Idiots samples extensively from Nathan Barley and, sonically, comes from that part of the spectrum where dubstep crosses over with rave and tear-out breakbeat… though tempo/beats-wise it's straight-up dubstep.

And, er, I haven't really got a lot more to say about it, to be honest. It's just a big, daft bassbin-destroyer that'll sound great on the proverbial big system. It comes backed by Back Off, which is in a similar vein though not quite as irresistible. No Nathan Barley, y'see.

About the label: It's on Wicky Lindows, which is the dubstep offshoot of Ollywood's Hardcore Beats imprint, in case you didn't know. Click on the link to hear the tracks yourself at the Wicky Lindows MySpace.


Friday, 10 July 2009

Eyerer & Namito - Pitch & Toss

Namito's album Eleven which I raved about on here last month isn't even in shops yet and already we have his NEXT single (ie, one that isn't taken from the album).

Pitch & Toss sees the boy from Tehran hooking up with Kling Klong label boss Martin Eyerer for an EP of solid, instrumental house grooves. It's in a similar vein to the album but possibly a little more techy and contemporary sounding – though Jay Haze does add some nice retro-sounding piano chords to his mix (or mixes – got sent two but I think there's only one on the full release?) of the title track. The pick for me, though, is B-side Shibuya, a simple percussive workout with some nice pad action that'll keep 'em jigging along nicely.

Meanwhile, since we last spoke on the subject of Namito, Great Stuff have seen fit to put up a pre-listening page, so to hear the album Eleven for yourself, just click here.

The album's out on July 26; this single is out next week.

About the label: Although Namito is a Kling Klong mainstay and Martin Eyerer is the boss of Kling Klong, this actually comes atcha on Systematic Recordings, such is the crazy world of dance music. Systematic is a house/techno label run by Marc Romboy and has put out 60-odd releases by the likes of Booka Shade, John Dahlback, Zoo Brazil, Will Saul and even the legendary Blake Baxter. See the label website for more information.


The Time & Space Machine - Children Of The Sun

The crossover between dance music and proper psychedelia has to be one of the least explored fusions there is… UNTIL NOW, as they used to say on Tomorrow's World. Because now SCIENTISTS have invented a crazy electronificated take on psych that really needs to be heard to be understood. Though when I point out that by 'scientists' I really mean Richard Norris, AKA the half of The Grid that wasn't previously one-half of Soft Cell, and latterly the half of Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve that isn't both halves of Erol Alkan, well, that might give you more of an idea what to expect.

Children Of The Sun, I can't help noticing, starts out on a very similar hypnotic rhythm to Valium 10 by the immortal Hawkwind. It then gets a bit hippy-dippy flower-powery with its vocal harmonies. And it's OUT THIS WEEK on a double AA-side with Zeitghost, which is an even more ’60s-ish, organ-driven, freakbeat kinda thing... kinda like The Spencer Davis Group jamming at Spectrum...

The unlikeliest genre collision since JD Twitch's dancefloor reworkings of anarcho-punk classics? Well, yes.

About the label: Children Of The Sun comes atcha on Tirk Recordings, the label born from the ashes of Nuphonic. Tirk is known best for its nu-disco kinda vibes, but label boss Sav Ramzi told me recently he doesn't want the label to be seen as a one-trick pony. This should help with that.

Khassino Vs Romina Johnson - Movin' Too Fast 2009

Not even sure if this is coming out properly, but hot on the heels of Hagenaar & Albrecht's surprisingly likeable remake of Adeva's In & Out (Of My Life) comes this refix of a UKG classic, now in a slightly bumpier style that's kind of 'funky house with a very slight electro twist'

I guess what you make of it will depend to a large extent what you made of UK garage in general, and Artful Dodger in particular, the first time around. Me, I loved the former and had a grudging soft spot for the latter, so I don't mind this (once the vocal gets going, anyway). Drop it in a bar-type situation and it'd do the biz I'm sure. Anyway you can HEAR IT FOR YOURSELF HERE and make your own mind up!

About the label: I'm not sure there is one, yet, or even if there ever will be, but keep an eye on H&A's MySpace for details! Oh yeah and while you're there you might notice they've been f***ing around with a DSK classic too...

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Good Guys - Get Freaky

Five mixes here, but unless you're the kind of DJ who approaches promoters and says "Hello, I play over-blown electro-house with a huge cheese topping, and I can make your lowest common denominator punters scream like the idiots that they are", then we can safely ignore four of them.

However, just when you're about to start weeping silent tears for Mother House Music's poor defiled body, along comes Lojak, riding in like the Lone Ranger, who saves the day with a decidedly groovier mix that has nary an OTT synth nor an over-extended breakdown in sight, just a nice understated, loping house groove, then rides off into the sunset polishing his shiny pate and sucking on a lollipop, presumably heading to the nearest cocktail bar where he'll ask the barkeep to mix him a metaphor on the beach, shaken not stirred, with three fingers of ol' film reference as a chaser.

Anyway enough of that, basically the Lojak mix is cool, the rest is sub-trance, commercial electro-house bollocks. Capiche?

About the label: It's is on Housesession, which is a club/radio/label-type thingy based in Stuttgart (where dead pop stars go to drown, don't you know).  They tend to the big room side of things and have had releases from the likes of Michael Gray, Kid Massive and Armand Van Helden… oh and DJ Sneak. Their last single was Jack Beat by Tune Brothers, and was actually pretty good, so despite all the carping above let's not write them off. Get Freaky is out now.

PS Lojak might actually be two guys I think, but never mind

Javier Orlando & Raul Carrasco - Underground Love

No release date info on this one, which is why it's on here rather than in iDJ cos I'm assuming it's out already…

What we have here is a slab of VERY deep house that comes in various flavas… the David Ordonez and Jimmy & Fer Ferrari mixes are quite glitchy, but I'm feeling the Original and Helly Larson rubs much more. The latter adds some disco noises and it'd be interesting to see how this would sit in a DJ set as a bridge between nu-disco and deep house; the Original, meanwhile, is just the kind of late-night sofa surfer that headphones and jazz cigarettes were made for. Nice.

About the label: This is on Deep Class who've featured on these pages before, so I'll say no more than it's a nice "lounge, deep & house music" (their words) label based in sunny Barcelona, and you can find out more on their MySpace