Various - Rebirth Essentials Vol 4 (Rebirth)
I guess you could call this deep house, though a more accurate description might be 'deep techno, but with soul.' Or just, y'know, good electronic music. There are ten tracks, mostly from new names (new names to me at least), though some more familiar names crop up on the list of remixers – try Deetron, Andre Lodemann, Melon. As the name suggests, it's the fourth label comp from Rebirth, the Italian label run by Shield - more info can be found by clicking here.
The Rurals - Rural Soul (Peng)
The long-running Devon outfit have always had two sides: the deep house side aimed squarely at the dancefloor, and the more downtempo/soulful side, where Tweek's voice really got a chance to shine. Now, with Tweek gone and The Rurals Mk I no more, the finest of those downtempo/soulful moments from their 237 albums to date get gathered together here. Personally, I was always a fan of the more dancefloor side of things and there are a few moments that are bit too sickly/R&B-ish, but this is still worth checking and, if that side of the Rurals' canon is what floats your boat, it'll probably be your favourite album yet. Peng website here.
Various - Nang presents The Array Volume 1 (Nang)
Celebrating their first birthday, London's hip nu-disco label drop their first label comp, which rounds up some of the imprint's finest moments to date as well as a handful of previously unreleased cuts. Highlights for me include Sare Havlicek's White Russian (Lazy Summer), the ace Sugardaddy version of Love Honey and King DJ's funk-fuelled Clothes & Counters, but there's plenty more goodness on offer.
Out: March 1
Various - Zen & The Art Of Disco Maintenance (Tirk)
Meanwhile they haven't been slacking over at Nang's parent label Tirk, either. Here they serve up a further 15 tracks of nu-disco/deep house/and thereabouts goodness – if you like the Nang comp, you really need this to go with it, and vice versa. Tracks come from the likes of Bottin, Sorceror, Space (twice), The Love Supreme and TIWWD faves The Time & Space Machine, with a surprise fave for me being Night Dance from those two hoary old chillers Pete Gooding and Chris Coco.
Out: March 1
Various – Rare Underground Classics (Loaded)
And finally, after all those nu-disco and downtempo vibes, let's head back to the dancefloor and back to the ’90s (mostly) with this digital-only collection of some of the Brighton label's finest moments. Pizzaman's Babyloop (for the benefit of any youngsters, that's Norman Cook in non-Fatboy mode) is just one of 15 vintage nuggets that'll bring a nostalgic grin to the face of any ageing ’90s raver; others come from the likes of Playboys, Ramp, Damien J Carter and Soul Grabber. If you ever partied at (eg) Vague, Most Excellent, Luvdup, Holy City Zoo, Club UK or Wobble, then you SO need this… if you didn't, this is what you missed.
Out: Now, I think?