Monday, 28 February 2011

Other February releases

Well, it’s not been a bad month at all, in terms of getting stuff blogged, but as ever there’ve been plenty of other releases that could’ve gone on here if I’d had time. So here’s a quick list/run-down/round-up type thingummy… sorry there's not pictures but I'd be here all night!


Andrew Philips

Drop That (Red Seven Recordings)

The debut release from this new imprint out of Germany’s Housesession stable. And the first of several records in this round-up with a VERY familar, smile-inducing sampler, which may or may not have something to do with ghettoblasters…


Damir Pushkar & B.Original

Beat It Up (Pin Up Records)

A genre-defying dancefloor cut with influences from progressive house, techno and disco alike.


David Kassi

Get Down EP (Deep Class)

Fer Ferrari's Barcelona-based Deep Class is without a doubt one of the best deep house labels around; this is merely the latest in a long line of reasons why…


DJ EQ

Invitation Only (Nocturnal Recordings)

More of DJ EQ's trademark filter disco revivalism, this time on Steve Mac and friends' Nocturnal imprint.


DJ Spen pres Le Royal

Promise (Code Red)

Trad-style soulful house goodness from the former Basement Boy on his own Code Red, complete with a Ralf Gum remix.


Dual T

Nu Spinner EP (Smiley Fingers)

Four tracks of the highest quality deep, techy house, with just a touch of jazz… and a very familar sample on Somebody (go on, have a guess!)


Eelke Kleijin & Sebastian Davidson

Army Of Two (Nightbird Records)

Two deep, throbbing and ever-so-slightly proggy housers from M. Davidson's excellent Nightbird.


Enzo Siffredi

One Finger EP (Erase)

More from the ever-prolific Erase regular. He does his trademark gypsy-jaunty thing, but on Italo-Blues he goes for a more weirded-out tech-house vibe that's sounding fresher to me.


Gliesers

Kuiper’s Belt (Fullbarr)

Ultra-deep techno from this astoundingly good Bradford-based label.


Heartik

Grenadilla Mini Swing (Kling Klong)

Italy’s fastest-rising tech-house star returns to Kling Klong. Remixes come from Uto Karem and Kaiserdisco.


Ivel Tax

Funky Church EP (All Inn Black)

Have I mentioned recently what a fantastic deep house label All Inn Black is? No? I have now…


Jerico

I Know You Want Me (Tall House)

Back to the 90s-style vocal house that’s surprisingly non-cheesy – me like.


Kinky Yak

Journey EP (Tokyo Red)

No let-up in quality from DJ Sydney’s ever-excellent Tokyo Red here. Not sure quite what kinky yaks get up to, mind you… and I’m not sure I WANT to know, either.


Lutzenkirchen

Don’t Fear To Rock (1605 Music Therapy)

Pounding acid techno, basically, but done in a way that isn’t horrible – a rare feat in my eyes (ears?), so excellent work!


Muovo

Fast Eddi EP (Weplayminimal)

The 41st release from the German label with the self-explanatory name.


Selim Gaston

Tunisia (Endemic Digital)

The ever-prolific Endemic on a more minimal/deep techno kinda tip here.


Stefan K

First Step EP (Endemic Digital)

Deep and a bit proggy, but kinda soulful as well…


Tovar

Fire EP (Pin Up Recordings)

Fire and Inferno are both in a chunky and slightly electro-y main room kinda vein with some very familar vocal samples… a bit more commercial than most stuff TIWWD covers, but not horrible. But it's the slightly deeper Strange that's most worthy of your attention, I'd humbly suggest.


Vanessa Daou

Heart Of Wax (Kid Recordings)

The incredible Ms Daou returns with this sensual downtempo cut taken from the 2008 album Joe Sent Me. Housed up just a little bit by Alphamotive, the single also trails the forthcoming Moonshine Mixes remix album.


Various

Five To The Floor (Elevation Recordings)

No let-up in quality from Ireland’s Elevation stable, with Soul Minority, Harold Heath and label boss Darren Nugent among the artists featured on this five-tracker.


Various

Saved 2011 Sampler Pt 2 (Saved Records)

Jordan Peak, Benny Rodrigues and more feature on this second V/A sampler from Fanciulli’s Saved imprint.


Wally Stryk

Fleur De Sel EP (OKO Records)

More quality deep house from OKO, with a more minimal remix from Betoko.


World Of Colour

Who Cares (Metrogroove)

Atlantic Ocean's Waterfall revisited for 2011, anyone? Oh sod it, go on then…

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Some albums, quickly…

It's been a while since we did one of these! But here are some decent albums I've received lately that didn't make it into the pages of iDJ, at least not reviewed by me…

John Morales
The M+M Mixes Vol 2
(BBE)
The second collection of John Morales' legendary dancefloor mixes from back in the original disco era, many of them never before released officially (having at the time just been handed out to DJs on then-new-fangled promotional 12"s). As with Vol 1, there are quite a few well-known tracks and some of the rubs aren't HUGELY different from the mixes you already own… but this is an essential purchase for disco 'spotters all the same. And I now know that (part of) the vocal from one of my all-time favourite house records, What Cha Gonna Do? by Vil-N-X from 1992, actually comes from the Fantastic Aleems' Get Down Friday Night. Which I didn't, this morning. Every day's a school day. Oh yeah, and Morales' take on Now Is Tomorrow by Brass Construction – a record I've played out countless times – is replacing the original for me from now on!

Out: Tomorrow! It's almost like I planned it, isn't it?

Joey Negro presents…
The Soul Of Disco Vol 3
(Z Records)
The man like Dave Lee, whatever you might think of some of his more commercial dance offerings, is generally regarded as one of the UK's leading experts on soul, disco, funk and boogie music. So when he puts together a disco collection, you'd be seriously well advised to listen. This latest in the Soul Of Disco series – the emphasis being on proper, heartfelt songs from the original disco era y'see – is no exception. Which is why it's getting a review at this late stage in the game

Out: For a while now, sorry, but it's taken me this long to get hold of a full-length copy. I don't review samplers…

Various
Great Carnival Stuff Vol 2
(Great Stuff)
For a while now, I've been struck by the fairground-like nature of a lot of the jauntier, bouncier tech-house coming out of Germany and eastern Europe (I seem to recall describing Andhim's Wirsing as sounding like Oompah-Loompahs on pills). I'm clearly not alone in noticing this, as this second carnival-themed compilation from Great Stuff shows. It's full of, er, jaunty, bouncy tech-house, much of it from Germany and Eastern Europe. With artists including many TIWWD regulars/favourites like Heartik, Rainer Weichhold, Namito and L├╝tzenkirchen, it's a bit of a no-brainer, really. Step right up, a prize every time!

Out: Tomorrow (28 Feb)

Sishi Roesch
Galactic Ghetto Games
(Endemic Digital)
Sticking with the tech house vibes, here comes Sishi Roesch, who's delivering a full-length already despite being a relative newcomer to the scene. With Galactic Ghetto Games, though, he more than delivers the goods, and if deep, techy house with a forward-thinking, experimental edge but also the occasional nod to the vintage sounds of Chicago and Detroit sounds like your kinda thang, then I suggest you get on this young Guatemalan-born German/Italian Barcelona resident (!) now. Be the first kid in your street, astound your parents, amaze your friends, etc...

Out: 7 March

Various
The Riot! 2
(1605 Music Therapy)

I'm not really a techno person, admittedly… but I'm a lot more of a techno person than I used to be. And when I've got my techno head on (you should see it, it's got flashing lights and circuit-bent PCBs and all sorts), then Umek's 1605 Music Therapy is possibly my favourite techno label, cos they really do understand about qualities like funk and groove. With a whopping 40 cuts, mostly from new artists and covering various styles from bleepy to funky to acid and even to disco-fied (and thankfully very little in the way of the nosebleed/
jackhammer/screeching), this second V/A collection proves it.

Out: 7 March

Various (mixed by MRK1)
Future Dubstep 04
(Big In Ibiza)
Coming as it does from a label out of the Media stable (home also to Nukleuz) you might expect this to be some horrible cash-in effort full of kiddy-friendly bollocks… but it's not, mostly. There are a few dodgy AutoTune'd trance lite vocals, sure, but not too many. And yes, you're looking at the 'big stoopid gnarly bass noise' end of dubstep rather than anything more cerebral, experimental or, indeed, dubby. But with Manchester's leading grime/dubstep bod MRK1 at the controls, the cheese-ometer never swings into the red for too long, and it definitely has its moments (though I can't tell you what they care, cos the promo isn't track-marked). If you can swallow the cheese slices, there are some proper dark rave nuggets to be discovered here, all from relative newcomers. So we're NOT at home to Mr Snobby today, okay?

Out: 1 March, I believe (they've not told me, but that's when a couple of download stores are saying they've got it available).

There you go: disco, deep/tech house, techno and dubstep: that lot should keep you going for a bit…

Larsen & Luca Marano

Zoo TechniqueMust admit I've not come across this Sicilian duo before, but apparently they've had stuff out on Bini & Martin's Ocean Trax, and on Andre Crom's Off.

On this EP you get two mixes of Boom Rush The Snow itself, two of Black Royal and one of Days Of Glory. Obviously across three tracks and six mixes you're going to get a degree of variety, but overall the vibe is party-time house that's upbeat, funky and a little bit discofied in places without being cheesy, and that's also got quite a soulful feel thanks the ubiquitous male vox. Oh yeah, and the aforesaid remixes come from Brazil's Paulo Boghosian & Andre Torquato, and Italy's DJ Kool Dek, just in case you were wondering, with B&T's deeper rub of Black Royal my pick of the EP.

If you're fiending for some of that 90s uplifting flava, this should do it.

Out: This week

About: This is on a label I've not (knowingly) come across before either, Zoo Technique. They would appear, however, to be on their 31st release, which shows how little I know. Anyway, they're based in Barcelona and you can find 'em on MySpace, Soundcloud and Facebook.

Fake Chicken & Cheap Soap - Jack Back

Greenhorn RecordsBack on a tech house tip now, with a driving, upbeat offering from one of the most oddly-named artists I've ever come across (although Australia's legendary, and possibly entirely fictitious, Oh My God It's There Don't Go In Ronnie You'll Be Killed have yet to be beaten in that respect)

Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, driving, upbeat and bordering on out-and-out techno, but still with plenty of funk and groove, Jack Back (not Just Just as for some reason I said before) in its Original form is an acid-squelched dancefloor romp par excellence. Alexkid supplies an Acid Dub that basically IS techno but is also quite a bit deeper, and well worth checking. I'm less keen on the Alexi Delano rub, which does that 'unnecessary stuttering' thing to the beats that's so prevalent in techno but still, two out of three, etc…

So yeah, essentially this is a techno record. But it's a rather good techno record, so don't let that put you off. Acieed!

Out: This week

About: This is on Namito's label Greenhorn Records, part of the Great Stuff/Kling Klong family. Greenhorn themselves describe it as "the classic sounds of acid house, complemented by a contemporary techno vibe," which kind of works. You can find Greenhorn Records on Facebook. And Fake Chicken & Cheap Soap as well, come to that.

TIWWD interview at Lost In Musik!

Sorry for the shameless self-promotion, but recently when reviewing a Mr Robot track I told you about his rather spiffing blog, Lost In Musik. Well, they asked me to do an interview about 'life as a music journalist', so if anyone's interested, you can read it here.

Not very good at this bigging up yourself lark but it'd be churlish not to try and drive some traffic their way! You can always skip over my babblings once you get there and look at all the other good stuff they've got on there, from record reviews to artist interview and loads of streamed video n' stuff.

Greg Stainer - Nivram

Greg Stainer NivramSeamless regular Greg returns with this relatively uptempo deep houser that's got definite hints of that Berlin/eastern Europe jauntiness about it. Its slightly skippy feel and looped n' chopped (male) vocal also nod towards the more experimental end of UK garage circa 2000 – and yes, there was one.

David Herrero's remix loses the skippy feel, goes for a slightly more carnival vibe and adds some tootling sax, while Treitl Hammond & Justus go for the deep/tech jugular and add some almost proggy chord stabs. A nice varied package mix-wise then, but neither beats the original for me.

Out: Oh... not until 14 March, now I come to look at the hype sheet again, so why I'd stuck it in the 'W/c 21 Feb' folder I don't know. Still, no harm in being upfront for once!

About: You know Seamless by now, surely? And you know Greg Stainer's a regular on the label, you know David Herrero's Spanish, so I'll just tell you that Hammond & Justus, new names to me, have apparently had stuff out on Neurotic Groove and Ultra. And give you a Seamless link as well.

Adham & Hisham Zahran - Purple Sunday EP

Seeing as it's Sunday morning, and seeing as I label things purple once they been blogged, now seems like the perfect time to tell you about this one… especially as it's an EP of the kind of deep, soul-soothing house that's tailor-made for Sunday listening as well.

The brothers Zahran hail from Egypt and have had stuff out before on Rezonant and Union Jack, but this is their first outing on Acryl. And what a debut it is too. Purple Sunday itself is a mellow, laidback groove in archetypal Acryl Music style, but then gets dancefloor'd up by Dana Berquist on a remix that's got just a hint of nu-disco around the edges, but also a hint of prog. Triplets is a jauntier affair but still pretty mellow n' groovy, with some beautiful jazz-ish keys, and then finally a Disclosure 4x4 Remix of the latter brings the package to a close with slightly tuffer beats that turn it into as dreamy and drifty an eyes-wide-shut dancefloor groove as you're likely to hear all year.

All told, there's nothing on this EP that breaks any new ground, particularly - but it's done so well that it's got the potential to become a warm-up/comedown classic. There's nothing 'soulful house' about it, but it just oozes soul from every pore. Go seek.

Out: This week

About: This is yet more proof that Acryl Music is one of THE most under-rated, under-sung labels in deep house music. So if you've not caught onto this astoundingly good Swiss imprint yet, find out what you're missing by hitting up their website.

Oh, and there are some further remixes of Triplets on their way as well – watch this space.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Ajello feat Hard Ton - Chocolate Black Leather

Hard TonWell, it's been a long day downloading music pretty much non-stop since breakfast… but I promised I'd say something this weekend about this Italo/nu-disco outing, so here we are!

The fact that this features Hard Ton - a rather large man posing in a leotard in a pastiche of that famous Grace Jones pic - should give you an idea what to expect… this is camp as old boots. But if you can handle that, it's pretty good. It's presented in two mixes: the Original borders on hi-NRG, but the mix I'm preferring is from Brennan Green, which is a little less reminiscent of bad old Hazell Dean records and is instead quite a slo-mo kind of affair.

I'm tireAjello Chocolate Black Leatherd, so that is all.

Out: Erm, sort of now-ish, I think. My 'connection' didn't say, we got bogged down in discussing The Horrors instead. Like you do.

About: This is on an Italian disco label that goes by the fantastic name of Danny Was A Drag King… and here's their MySpace. Oh yeah, and you can HEAR THIS (and check out some other Ajello bits) on Soundcloud.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Giovanni Damico - Can Be Other

Giovanni Damico Can Be OtherThe first release from another brand new label, Home Audio, which is run by Chicago's Angel Alanis. The label's said to be set to straddle the house/techno divide, much like Angel Alanis himself.

This first release comes with five mixes: the Original plus re-rubs from Giom, Jose M & TacoMan, Sleazy McQueen and Mr Clean. The Original is a midtempo curio that sort of shuffles/chugs along and gets a bit abstract at times, a bit jazzy at others but I guess comes loosely under a tech-house umbrella. Giom and Mr Clean take us into deep house pastures, Jose M & TacoMan go a tad more upbeat n' funky, but best of all for my money is the Sleazy McQueen Mix, a slab of low-slung sleazoid nu-disco funk.

Out: Monday (28 Feb)

About: Well, I just explained about the label, did I not? Don't seem to have a link handy for you at the mo' but I'm sure my boy Ian Straker might oblige in the comments box below if we ask nicely. Ian?

Blackjack feat Frances Mary - On Fire

Blackjack On FireWhile we seem to be on something of a soulful tip, I guess now's a good time to tell you about this one, which is FAR more soulfully-inclined number than you might expect to find on TIWWD as it's become. But a) there's a local (ie, Bristol) connection and b) it is actually rather nice!

The Original Vocal Mix is straight-up early 90s-style street soul, the kind of thing that will appeal to fans of Driza Bone, D*Note, Des'ree, D*Influence and, er, other people like that beginning with D. Then mix-wise, it goes all over the place, but always with the soul intact: there's Blackjack's Broken Vox Mix for the bruk beat crew, there's the COF Mix for those into the jazzier end of the 'soulful house' scene as it stands right now (think Nathan Haines, Reel People, etc), and then there's Flex's Old School Mix, which is another reason it's featuring here – with its thumping 4/4 beats and synth string stabs, this comes on like the Musto & Bones, Eric Kupper or Steve 'Silk' Hurley mixes you used to find lurking on the B-sides of ORIGINAL 90s street soul 12s. If you ever shopped at Expansions Records in Manchester (which you probably didn't, admittedly), you'll know the kind of thing.

I'm not sure I'd play this now… but I would've back in the day, for sure. So in a nostalgic mood, I might, actually.

Out: This week

About: Blackjack is part of the Circle Of Funk collective (COF, y'see?), along with Lee Robinson, Paul Stephenson and Andy Caulfield, all of whom who can boast impressive CVs in the UK dance industry from hip-hop to house to UKG. And some of whom are from Bristol, as I said. Between them they also run the label this is on, Slapped Up Soul, who can be found on MySpace. Show some love, eh?

The Rurals feat Jaidene Veda - Into Life

The Rurals Into LifeIt’s true that I’ve not been feeling the soulful stuff so much in recent times, and it’s true that some of The Rurals’ output of late has drifted too far down that noodly/muso/oh-so-earnest kinda route for me. But ‘Into Life’ is great, a sensuous, late-night drifter with a dreamy female vocal from Ms Veda.

Mix-wise there are six in total, though to be honest they don’t vary huge amounts. Jason B Lush’s rub beefs up the kicks just slightly, and hence would probably the favourite for floor play, while Glenn Underground’s pass will be the pic for those who DO like it ever so soulful and noodlesome. But It’s still a package that’s well worth checking. If you love classic Jersey garage ├á la Hayden Andre or Kriss Koleman, or indeed vintage west coast from Migs, Jay-J & Chris Lum etc, then you’ll love this.

Out: This week

About: This comes of course on Peng, Andy 'Rurals' Compton’s own diehard deep house label based, somewhat improbably, in Devon. Visit them online here.

Prince Club - Body Holly

Prince Club Body Holly“Three unpretentious party-starters,” is how the hype sheet describes this EP, and I’d go along with that… except to say that such a description could be taken to mean something slightly silly n’ cheesy… and this EP isn’t.

Rather, what you get are two slabs of straight-up house music that could work on a variety of floors, from the underground deep house joints to the bigger rooms. Movin’ On samples (or uses the same sample as? I’m not quite sure) K.E.L.S.E.Y’s Boy (a Marc Kinchen classic on Strictly from way back in the day, if ya didn't know), and is probably my favourite for that reason alone, while Body Holly works a similar vibe; either could have come straight outta early-to-mid-’90s NYC. Which is a good thing.

I’m a bit less keen personally on third track Mr Freeze, which has a nagging little high-pitched riff that sounds suspiciously like electro-house to me. But two stonkin’ house cuts out of three ain’t bad, and what with this and Jet Project’s recent U Know, which yours truly made Tune Of The Month in iDJ a couple of issues back, Snatch! are on something of a roll right now.

Out: This week

About: Snatch! is owned/run by Riva Starr, who much like this EP can do some cracking house tunes when he doesn’t veer off into kiddy-electro nonsense. Find out more from the Snatch! website.

Good Parts - Teardrops EP

Another label who've not featured on here for a bit are Star-Fi Recordings, again not for any other reason than I get sent an overwhelming amount of music these days! But there's no way we could overlook this one.

Good Parts are Star-Fi's in-house crack team of re-edit wizards and here they take on one of my favourite ever records, Womack & Womack's Teardrops, transforming it very respectfully into quite a slo-mo, chuggy kind of number. Basically, it's Teardrops reworked in a style that's that bit less 'hairdresser' and that bit more 'disco cardigan', and it's really rather good.

Elsewhere on the EP, Tim & Steve prove once again that they're FAR better 'spotters than I am by reworking a 1980 cut that I must admit I'd never heard of before, Body Fusion by Starvue, turning the rare groove original into a slo-mo houser that sounds a bit like wandering into a northern soul all-nighter on a fistful of downers (in a good way), while Slow Jam is a Good Parts original that isn't the erection-section smoothie the title could imply, but instead recalls the more Balearic end of Italo-house circa 1989... which can ONLY be done in a good way, surely?

Out: This week

About: Hmmm… Star-Fi's website appears to be out of action at the mo'. But hopefully it'll be back soon. In the meantime you can check 'em out on MySpace.

**UPDATE 1 MAR** Tim got in touch to say that yes, the website is down for a bit, but that you can grab some free downloads from his Soundcloud page

Evren Ulusoy - Annet EP

Evren Ulusoy AnnetPoor old Seamless Black Label don't seem to have featured on here for ages, now I come to think of it. Sorry, Ben and Graham… it's not deliberate, just the luck of the draw!

Anyway, let's remedy that now by talking about this latest deep bomb from the label, which comes from a rising Turkish producer who's previously had stuff out on labels like i! Records and Plastic City. Annet is a drifty, ambient-y, prog-tinged epic with a near-falsetto male vocal, the kind of thing that, if you heard it at stupid o'clock after dancing in a field all night, would undoubtedly sound like The Best Record Ever Made. It sounds pretty good now, and I've just got up. On the B, Sad Summer is another quite laidback affair, only this time with a female vocal and just a smidgeon more dancefloor oomph.

I think Sad Summer is my pick of the two but it's a strong EP all round.

Out: This week

About: I might not have mentioned them on here for a bit, but Seamless Black Label still do a very neat line in quality deep house music, so do have a peep at their website.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Miles Moore - Werk

Miles Moore WerkSome straight-up jackin' Chi-town house here, with a main "c'mon and work that body" vocal hook. Mixes come from Jaimy, Manny Ward, HiBudget and Honey Dijon & Sebastian Manuel, and any one of 'em will work on the floor for sure, but it's the latter's Relief-style rub with its almost tribal rhythms and relentless groove that's working the best for me.

We're kickin' it old school with this one!

Out: This week

About: This is on Mile End Records – yet another label making its TIWWD debut this week, we're doing well! Find 'em online here.

Various - Mo 2 Meaux 2

Various Mo 2 Meaux 2A four-track EP packed full of deep house/deep techno goodness, much of it originating in Meaux, France – with the 'Mo' in the title referring to the Motor City, y'see (ie, Detroit). Very clever.

J.Garcia's One Day uses MLK "I have a dream" snips over vintage Detroitian synth strings yet still somehow manages to sound fresh, CloudMaster Weed's Wicked System fuses dub, jazz and Afro influences, Sizzle by Professor Inc is a sparse affair with heavily-treated female vocal snippets and recalls the deeper side of early UKG, whle finally Drivetrain's Lift Me High is straight-up dreamy, drifty deep house with a soulful male vocal and probably the subtlest acid bubbles you'll hear this month.

A very strong EP all round.

Out: This week on vinyl, in a couple of weeks digitally

About: This is on a label I don't think have featured on TIWWD before, Soiree Records International, who are based in Detroit and have been going since 1990, headed up by Derrick 'Drivetrain' Thompson himself, who I have a strange idea I may have met at an 'underground Detroit' party in Miami one time… anyway, here's the website so you can find out more.

Incidentally, while writing this, iTunes has for some reason rolled over onto Drive-In Saturday by David Bowie. Definitely my fave Bowie tune… just thought I'd share that. I'll shush now.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Mate_ U - Jumbo

Mate_U JumboAnother one (after that Ludowick release I just mentioned) that fuses techier elements with a more soulful feel, resulting in another surefire winner. Well, a surefire winner for TIWWD, anyway. Plus, it's on a label I'll confess to not having been aware of up till now, which is always good!

There's just the two mixes of Jumbo. The original works its snatches of heavily-filtered vocal over skippy, shufflin' beats and foregrounds the jazzual keys… yet without ever sounding wishy-washy (see scathing comments about the current state of 'soulful house' below). On the B, the Angel Mora & Frink Remix goes that bit deeper, with slightly tuffer, more driving and far less shuffly beats, adds some crowd/party noise and simply DRIPS in raw, 'deep house basement' funk. I think it's my pick of the two, but it's a close-run thing.

You can hear both on the label's Soundcloud page (link below), but to make things nice and easy…

Out: This week

About: Again like Ludowick, Mate_U is from Spain (Valencia, specifically), as is the label, Anura Records, so maybe they're putting something in the water over there at the moment! This is Anhura's sixth release, and while it's the first to really register on my radar, I'll definitely be keeping an ear out in future. Here's their website and Soundcloud so you can, too.

Ludowick - Monoplastic

Ludowick MonoplasticAbsolutely LOVING this one! It's the perfect fusion of the deep, techy vibes I've been feeling the most over the past couple of years, with the more soulful elements that I've more traditionally been into (before 'soulful house' disappeared up its own backside in a sea of gentle, Lonnie Liston-Smith-aping noodles, ooh, did I say that out loud?).

Yeah, this is Da Bomb, basically. Head for the Pete Weasel Remix if you're leaning to the techy side, or Michael McLardy's Deeper Mix if you want something in a more traditional deep house vein, or the Original if you want a mix of the two. The Tom Ellis Mix goes a bit OTT on the FX and cut-ups for me but hey, you might like it. If pushed, I'm-a plump for McLardy's rub, which is a thing of laidback, stripped-down driftaway beauty. And a cert for the next TIWWD Cloudcast if I can get round to one any time soon.

Out: This week

About:
Ludowick hails from Barcelona, but this comes on the Newcastle, UK-based 22 Digit Records, of which Pete Weasel (above) is co-owner, his partner-in-crime being one Richard Reed. Oh yeah, and McClardy's had stuff out on Baker Street, among others, while Ellis runs Wales's Trimsound label. Anyway, here's the obligatory MySpace and Soundcloud links for 22 Digit - at time of writing you can HEAR THIS at the latter.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Fritz Kalkbrenner - Kings In Exile

Fritz Kalkbrenner Kings In ExileLet's kick off the week back on a tech-house tip, with this cut from a name you should be familiar with. In fact, you may even be familiar with the track, cos Kings In Exile is apparently the opening track from Herr Kalkbrenner's recent album Here Today, Gone Tomorrow – though as I never got sent the album I wouldn't know.

In any case, it's presented here in three quite different remixes: Fritz's original/album version, plus rerubs from Booka Shade, and from label bosses Chopstick & JonJon. The original's quite a driving, upbeat affair, and more like house-y techno than tech-house, if you get my drift. Chopstick & Jonjon slow things RIGHT down to 110bpm, turning the cut into a slo-mo beauty ideal for warm-up play (or lazy summer afternoon sessions outdoors). But my pick, I think is the Booka Shade remix, which keeps the fast tempo but loses some of the techy aggression, adding instead a vaguely Italo-ish kinda feel. Or Italo-via-rave, maybe.

A strong offering all round, then, with mixes to suit a variety of times, styles and dancefloors. Albeit definitely one for those with slightly techier tastes, rather than deep house purists.

Out: This week (tomorrow, to be precise)

About: This is on SUOL, which as stated is C&J's own label and always worth checking. Unbelievably, they don't actually seem to have a website or even a MySpace, at least not that I can find right now, but there is at least a contact email on their Resident Advisor profile.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

New label alert: Freshit Recordings

SAWF So Let MeWell, all right, not BRAND, brand new… but a reader of this blog (see? there are some!) called Philippos Nikiforakis got in touch this month to tell me about Freshit Recordings, the label he's been running since late last year, and very kindly sent me their first three releases to give a feel of what the label's about.

On the evidence I've heard so far – Stealth from Philippos himself, Faded Lady by LF/LB and So Let Me by SAWF, all of which are well worth tracking down – what they're about is groovy tuneage from that currently hard-to-define sector that spans both deep house and nu-disco. Which is always a good thing, so keep your ears out peeps, this is indeed some fresh shit…

Out: All the above are out now, with FRESHIT4 due in March, I'm told

About: Freshit Recordings are based in south London, though Philippos himself is actually Greek (as you may have guessed). Everything else, you can find out from the label's MySpace and Soundcloud.

Jay-Z (no, really!)

Well, I never thought I'd see the day, but here's a rather jolly 'ghetto house' remix I got sent of a Jay-Z track. It comes courtesy of the S.N.U.S crew and is free to download, so why the hell not, eh?

It's a bit swear-y, by the way, so if you're reading this at work you might want to put your headphones on. Unless, like, you work at the National Bastard Swearing Association of North Muthafuckin' America, or something. In which case you'll be fine.

Out: Now

About: S.N.U.S are Dark Room Robot and Paul Johan, who's Swedish, and they're based in Newcastle... and Mr Robot also runs quite an interesting blog on music, music production, music culture and, er, music stuff generally, which you can find here

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Various - Elevation's First 50 Re:Tooled & Re:Funked

Elevation First 50Oops, no updates all week? Sorry, didn't realise it had been quite that long but I've been stoopid busy…

Anyway, here's one I should have blogged about a couple of weeks back, but it's just too damned good to let it slide by unraved about. Cos this is about as good a house comp as you're gonna find right now, basically!

Celebrating the landmark first 50 releases from Irish stable, the album features some 21 tracks in full-length, unmixed format, plus two DJ mixes from Andre Kronert and Snuff Crew. Some of the artists involved will be familiar (Harold Heath, Scoper & Bubba, El Provost, David Duriez), most of them won't, but pretty much every track is a winner. Deep, techy house is the order of the day, with some excursions into slightly funkier or slightly proggier territory, and the odd side serving of retro acid… which is pretty much where house is 'at' in 2011, for me.

In fact, if you came to me and said, "I've not been keeping up, where's house music at in 2011, Russ?" I'd tell you to buy this, buy the Smiley Fingers compilation and buy any of 90Watt's Sound Of Amsterdam compilations. Between 'em, THAT'S where house music is at.*

Out: Feb 7, so if you haven't bought it yet you really ought to.

About: Elevation are based in Galway in Eire, are run by a very amicable chap called Darren Nugent, and can be found on that t'internet here.

*Well all right, maybe get a So Sound comp for the more traditional west coast-y stuff as well. And one of Nang's nu-disco collections for that side of things. And one of Acryl's comps for the very deep side of things. But you get my point.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Various - The Flavor Saver EP Vol 6

A super-quick post this AM cos I should be getting ready for work, and anyway you ought to know what to expect from the Flavor Saver series by now! But just quickly:

1. Miguel Migs is one of the finest DJs around when it comes to deep house

2. Salted is his own label, set up to release – in his own words, as he told me lately – "the kind of stuff I like to play, that tracky, dubby, underground stuff"

3. Flavor Saver is Salted's series of EPs showcasing up-and-coming producers from around the world.

So, this time out, those up-and-comings are: Franksen & Tom Wax, Homera Espinoza & Kevin Kind, Steve Littlemen and The House Inspectors… and you already KNOW this rocks, don't you? Proper west coast bump for the deep house faithful! The hip-house and organs combo of Littlemen's Don't Call Back, in particular, warrants your immediate attention, and Espinoza & Kind's Go Dance ain't far behind.

Out: This week

About: I just did all that, surely, but here's the Salted website just in case

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Inside Man - Cellular/A Million Lies

Inside Man CellularPlease bear with me, got a LOT going on right now work-wise... all good stuff but it's a case of paying work has to take preference over what is a labour of love! So blog posts are a bit sporadic, I know. Sorry. Still, there's just time on this somewhat overcast Sunday morning to give a shout to this latest from the ever-excellent Vibration Records.

As I've said on here before, Vibration are one of my favourite D&B labels. Their deep, dreamy take on liquid funk is about a million miles from all that shiny electro-trance-rawk 'stadium D&B' shite that the kiddies love, or indeed from the minimal D&B/future D&B/dubsteppy sound that's in with the hipsters. But I don't care… I like it.

A Million Lies features a treated female vocal over typically rolling liquid beats, while Cellular works a fiercer, steppier rhythm and a lead/bass synth line that actually ISN'T a million miles from a dubstep kinda thang. The former is more 'me' TBH but both are cool… as will you be if you show some love for this resolutely underground little label!

Out: 25 February but it just landed and I thought I'd get a review up quickly or it might not happen!

About: Find the Vibration Records website here, or HEAR THIS (and earlier releases) on Soundcloud.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

dRamatic & dbAudio - The Green Box

I'm really, really, REALLY tired this evening, so tonight's solitary blog post is gonna be this liquid D&B cut, just in the hope that it might wake me up a bit… and cos there's only one mix. If I try and write about 17 different mixes of some lush, soothing deep house cut then it'll take ages and I'm likely to nod off mid-sentence!

Not got HUGE amounts to say about The Green Box cos I'm no D&B expert, it's just a really nice rolling, liquid groove. The kind of D&B that househeads like, in other words… check it.

Out: This week

About: This comes atcha on the comparatively new but seemingly quite well-respected D&B imprint Ingredients Records, and apparently is the 'digital exclusive in addition to Recipe 14's Break The Vacuum'. I'm not even entirely sure what that means, and frankly I'm a bit too tired to care right now, but, y'know… it's good.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Juan Deminicis - Andalucia

Juan Deminicis AndaluciaNah, couldn't do it. I meant to strike a blow for house music egalitarianism and inclusivity and other cuddly-lefty-liberal words with the Geisha Twins post... but imagine if I got run over by a bus tomorrow, and that was the last thing I ever wrote? Brrr.

So here's something MUCH tastier, two slices of deep-ish but driving techy-progginess from those ever-reliable chaps at Stripped Digital.

Phew. I'll be able to sleep tonight, now.

Out: This week. Ooh, actually, last week now. But hey.

About: I can't keep up with the Stripped family, they put out so much stuff! Here's their MySpace, just in case you haven't visited it 100 times already.

Geisha Twins - Love Situation

See this record? It's like a thousand records you've heard before, basically: file it under 'cheesy filter disco'. It's the kind of thing hairdressers and receptionists dance to at your local Oceana/Syndicate/Po Na Na/etc on a Saturday night. It's commercial, obvious and formalaic and it certainly isn't the kind of thing that gets covered on This Is Why We Dance. Usually.

But you know what? I don't actually mind it, despite all that. Or at least I don't mind a couple of the mixes (stand up, Joey Chicago and Agent Stereo).

So shoot me. Part of the reason for TIWWD's existence is to cover good dance music REGARDLESS of genre, and this is… well, not great admittedly, but it's the least-worst commercial and obvious Saturday night house record I've heard lately. And if it was by Daft Punk you'd call it 'unabashedly uplifting and joyously party-tastic', so get off your high horse.

Out: This week

About: This is on DJ EQ's US disco-house label Stardust Records. And supporting small independent dance labels is also one reason this blog exists, so here's their Soundcloud page (where you can HEAR THIS... if you're man enough to not fear the fromage!)

PS Tread carefully with those mixes, mind!

PPS Normal beard-stroking snobbery will be resumed shortly...

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Zumo - Dutch Dub EP

Zuma Dutch DubOkay, after that brief detour into breaks and dubstep territory, we're back on a deeper tip now with this offering from Zumo, which comes complete with a remix from France's Chris Carrier.

Dutch Dub itself is a chugging midtempo cut, with an organ line that recalls the most stripped-down of vintage Jersey garage from the early 90s. Nice! Deranged is in a similar vein but a tad slower, with a barely-there female vocal and all kinds of trippy, techy synth washes going on in the background, and then finally Carrier's remix of Deranged is Deranged is a slightly more upbeat affair, with a fat, squelchy bassline and some lovely echoing keys.

It's between Dutch Dub and Carrier's mix of Deranged as to which is my favourite, but all three cuts are strong.

Out: This week

About: This comes on a new label called Landed Records, and is only their second release. So get on the case early and check 'em out here.

Free breaks/dubstep mix from Funkatech

Nothing to say really, but this is quite good fun if you're in the mood for something big and silly… and the NAPT Remix of Cee-Lo Green does rock, it has to be said!

Funkatech Records - Start The Party - A Retrospective of 2010 Mixed by Specimen A by Funkatech Records

We'll go back to all the deep stuff in the AM...

Friday, 4 February 2011

Steve Foulds - Yue-Laan EP

And the quality deep vibes keep on a-coming, this time courtesy of Hong Kong-based Scotsman Steve Foulds, who's previously cropped up on Stripped Recordings.

There are two tracks making up the Yue-Laan EP. Moth is a VERY deep dub techno affair and best suited for home listening, while Wet On Twilight is more in a tech-house vein, albeit with those dub techno influences still writ reasonably large.

Whatever you want to call it, though, this is quality: drifty, cerebral late-night vibes that probably won't appeal much beyond the connoisseurs, admittedly… but who cares when it sounds this good?

Out: This week

About: Hype Muzik is yet another label coming under the Stripped/Endemic umbrella. Based in that global epicentre of all things house-related – Westcliff-On-Sea in Essex – they don't seem to have a website of their own but here's a brief write-up on Resident Advisor and here's the MySpace page for Stripped as a whole.

Onur Ozman - Shadow Of The Statue EP

Onur Ozman Shadow Of The StatueOnur Ozman has been making quite a stir in deep/tech house circles in the past five years or so, so he shouldn't need much introduction from me! Suffice to say this two-track EP, his second for Acryl Music, demonstrates perfectly why he's become such hot property so quickly.

Shadow Of The Statue itself is a rolling, midtempo groove with a pleasantly dreamy feel and just the teeniest tiniest hint of Ozman's Turkish roots in some of the sounds. But the killer for me here is B-side Music Is Rectangular, an uncompromisingly deep number with occasional disembodied vocal snips, reversed pads and beats that have been groove-d or swung (or whatever you wanna call it) to give them a slightly 'pushing' feel that helps ensure the track will work on the dancefloor as well as it does on the hi-fi.

It's very good, basically. Good enough to make the fact that Ozman is a mere 22 years old really quite remarkable.

Out: This week, fully, though it's been available on promo at Beatport for a couple of weeks already.

About: Why Acryl Music isn't one of the world's biggest house labels by now is beyond me... pretty much every release is a killer, and there's plenty of them. Oh yeah, I know… it's because people are idiots, and quality deep house like this doesn't speak to idiots.

You, dear reader, are however clearly not an idiot, but a discerning dance music buyer of impeccable taste… I know that cos you've found this blog. :-) So you're EXACTLY the kind of person who ought to check out the Acryl website forthwith.

And while you're at it you might want to have a peek at the Onur Ozman website and Soundcloud page, too.

Flippers Vs DJ Slater ft U-Prag - King Of The Night EP

Flippers DJ Slater King Of The NightA bit more of a proggy cut than might normally feature on TIWWD, but it's prog of the 'actually house-y' kind as opposed to prog of the 'tedious self-indulgent musical waffle made by Vanglis obsessives', so that's okay.

A truly international effort - Flippers is Israeli, Slater and U-Prag are Czech and headlne remixer Koen Groeneveld is Dutch – the original of King Of The Night is a chunky, driving kinda cut that avoids over-long breakdowns, half-hour snare rolls and other prog cliches, and that has a certain dirty funk to its looping bass synth riff. The remix by Perfect Stranger is a slightly more spacey, druggy take for those warped dancefloor moments, then Groeneveld turns in a rub that's similar in tone/feel, but slightly different in structure, with an extended percussion-led intro for maximum mixability.

It's the kind of thing that, if you normally play deep house but you're faced with a floor that needs it a little more pumping, you could play this and keep 'em happy, without needing to feel sullied. And in my experience, anyone who plays deep needs a few of those in their box/wallet/virtual crate. Not typical TIWWD fodder, then, but worth checking.

Out: This week

About: This comes atcha on DJ Slater's own label Tribal Vision. Who seem to have a compilation called Vanguard 3 out, you might like to know, though I've not heard it myself.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Ace reggae-dubstep fusion bizniss, seen?

Got some other work on tonite - a hush-hush project I can't really talk about - so in the absence of any reviews ce soir, check out this ace dubby thang from the ever-excellent Dubblestandart. It's not new nor nuffink, but it is very good (and I found it lurking in my 'Misc MP3s' folder and thought I'd share it)


Dubblestandart meets David Lynch & Lee Scratch Perry "Chrome Optimism" remixes - out now! by SubatomicSound

Out: About six months ago! But I doubt many people have heard it seeing as I seem to be the only person propping Dubblestandart much. Well, I'm sure I'm not, but it's not like they're on the front cover of Q just yet...

About: If you dig this, then check out the Dubblestandart MySpace, or there's various bits on YouTube as well. And I do recommend their album Heavy Heavy Monster Dub, which features collaborations with/remixes by Sly & Robbie, Keith Le Blanc, Manasseh, Dreadzone and, er… Carl Douglas, on a dub-wise remake of Kung-Fu Fighting, the original of which was your humble correspondent's favourite song when he was about four/five years old. Well, that and I Shot The Sheriff, ha ha!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Various - Twenty Eleven Sampler

Deep Edition Twenty Eleven SamplerThis five-track EP showcases some of the artists affiliated with the excellent Deep Edition imprint, run by rising house star Martijn and described on the hype sheet as “never a label to be swayed by big names over music quality”. In other words, what you get are five deep house cuts from artists you’ve probably never heard of.

The artists in question are Marc Vexar, Jesus Pablo & Di Riviera, Mile Grozdanovski, Nachtbraker and RJ Fletcher, of whom the latter is the only one that I can recall popping up on my radar before. Vexar is a Geordie now living in Australia, Pablo & Riviera are from Liverpool, Grozdanovki comes from Macedonia (and has previously had stuff out on Tokyo Red, just as ‘Mile’), Nachtbraker is Dutch and Fletcher hails from Manchester; all of them, regardless of geographic origin, here demonstrate an innate, instinctive and impeccable understanding of how to make the deepest of house music that will move you on the floor, yet is equally suited for late-night listening sessions at home.

This is as good as it gets, basically: proper deep underground house to satisfy the most purist of heads. Go seek.

Out: This week

About: Forthcoming goodies from Deep Edition, we’re rather helpfully informed, include EPs from Lee Pennington & Guthrie, Remote People, Steve SoulBasics, Michael McLardy, that RJ Fletcher chappy again, and of coure label boss Martijn himself. For more info, visit the Deep Edition MySpace page.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Rick Sanders - Kristel EP

Rick Sanders Kristel EPBit of a stretch calling this an 'EP' when there's only two tracks, but we'll let them off cos Smiley Fingers is one of my fave labels right now and this release from Sanders is fairly typical of why.

Smiley Fingers' speciality is deep, groovy tech-house with the emphasis firmly on the house side of the equation (in fact 'techy house' rather than 'tech-house' might be a better description, if you can appreciate the subtle difference). Hence, both Kristel and Jasmine represent the kind of tech-house that'd be as much at home at an East Midlands free party as it would in a red-lit basement in Berlin. Both work female vocal snippets; Jasmine is more your rolling kinda groove while Kristel chops up the vox to give it an almost MK/Todd Edwards feel.

A couple of months back, I reviewed Smiley Fingers' first-birthday label comp We Are Smiley in iDJ, describing it as "the sound of house music in 2010/2011 on a plate". This latest from Sanders does nothing to undermine that whatsoever. Top stuff.

Out: This week

About: Here's the Smiley Fingers website – from there you can find 'em on Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter etc. I'd post individual links to all of 'em, but it'd take ages and I think my bath is nearly ready.