Saturday, 30 June 2012

Loz Goddard – Mimic


Loz Goddard Mimic 5 And Dime
I wish 5 And Dime would hurry up and release a rubbish record… cos it gets a bit embarrassing when you're singing the praises of a label's every single release. But here they've let me down on that front yet AGAIN, serving up yet another EP packed full of sumptuous deep house goodness, damn them.

This time around, the man at the controls is Manchester's Loz Goddard, who serves up two original tracks that come with remixes from Omar Fayyad (x2) and Quin. And yeah, 'sumptuous deep house goodness' pretty much covers all of 'em but if pushed, then Quin's rub of Move Back and Fayyad's of Mimic itself share top honours for me.

Class in a glass. Now then, lads… how about getting some gnarly electro-step in for the next one so yours truly can have a night off?

Out: This week

About: Denver-based purveyors of all things deep n' luxuriant 5 And Dime can be found at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud

Havana Candy – The Black Keys EP


Havana Candy Black Keys EP
Some cool leftfield disco vibes here from those past masters of the artform, Paper Recordings… and for once they've actually said when it's out so I can tell you about it! The EP's made up of three original tracks, plus a remix of Tera from Flash Atkins.

We'll start with Tera, then, which in its original form is a seriously bass-heavy, mind-melting nu-disco throbber made with dark rooms, smoke machines and strobe lights in mind. Far be it from me to say something as crass as “pass the amyl” but, y'know… while in Mr Atkins' hands, it's basically the same track, only with several buckets of acid squelch thrown in. As for the other two, Last Train is wonky downtempo Balearica better suited to warm-up or post-club play, while All Night treads a similar path to Tera, but leans a little more towards the deep house (rather than nu disco) side of things.

Silly faces at the ready, please.

Out: This week

About: Havana Candy is the latest alias for Hebden Bridge-based Joe Lucas, who's had stuff out under various guises on such northern institutions as Fat City and 2020Vision, as well as Paper and his own Havana Candy Records. You can find him (and HEAR THIS) on Soundcloud, or you can find Paper Recordings here.

Phil Weeks – P's Theme


Phil Weeks P's Theme Robsoul
Coming on his own Robsoul Recordings, this is the third in a series of ultra-limited white labels that sees the French producer getting seriously Funky.

You'll notice I've spelt 'funky' with a capital F there. Because while Thinking Of You (which samples a very familiar vocal, but not the one you're thinking of!) does perhaps have a little of that 'French touch' disco-house feel about it, the other two tracks here have far more to do with 70s funk than house, really. Particularly P's Theme itself, which – with its bold brass, slap bass and wukka-wukking geetar – makes you want to go jump into a souped-up Ford Mustang and get in a car chase round downtown Manhattan. Or perhaps Marseilles.

John Barry would be proud.

Out: This week

About: You can find Robsoul on Soundcloud, or Phil himself on Facebook

Vince Watson – Reshapes


Vince Watson Rehapes Bio
Something of a killer remix package here, as Vince Watson hands over five of his own tracks, on his own Bio label, to a bunch of remixers. And you just might have heard of some of them… Joris Voorn works his magic on Intuitions, Funk D'Void takes on A Very Different World, Steve Rachmad remixes Aurelon, Psycatron does the honours on Pressure and DJ Rolando serves up a rerub of Sequential.

With big-hitting names like that on board you don't really need to me to explain too much I don't think… suffice to say if tough, techy house/prog and house-y techno are your bag then this EP will suit you down to the ground, with Funk D'Void's deep, constantly evolving and indeed somewhat epic take on A Very Different World taking top honours for me.

Out: This week

About: Can't seem to find a Bio website as such, but here's Mr Watson's own website, Facebook and Soundcloud links… you can HEAR THIS for yourself at the latter.

Khainz – ABC8


Khainz ABC8 Rusted Records
Back on a tuffer tech-house tip here, with this latest from Israeli label Rusted Records.

But while ABC8 is jackin' enough to satisfy those floors that like it a touch more heads-down and driving, it's crucially not devoid of da funk by any means… particularly in the case of the DJ PP remix, a rollicking, lolloping bass-centric groove topped with bright, crisp percussion and chopped n' looped kiddy-choir vox. The Original uses similar elements but with more of a straight-up pumping b-line, and with just a little less off-kilter swing to the underlying rthyhm.

So I'll have a PP please, Bob.

Out: This week

About: You can find Rusted on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Jeremy Breen – Sense


Jeremy Breen Sense Savoir Faire Musique
Some typically lush deep house grooves here from the ever-dependable Savoir Faire Musique.

The original version from Breen (who you may remember from his previous Holic Down, also on SFM) is a midpaced, blissed-out groover based around sumptuous piano chords, chicka-chicking hi-hats and synths that I'd want to describe as soaring and euphoric, only that makes them sound horrible and cheesy, which they're not.

Said original is accompanied by a brace of rerubs from none other than Martijn, of Deep Edition fame. His Remix takes the track into more floor-centric deep house territory, dominated by an organ line straight outta the mid-90s and additional chopped-up, chant-style vox, while his Stripped Dub is… well, more of the same basically.

Classy stuff, whichever mix you go for.

Out: This week

About: You can find Savoir Faire Musique at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud.

Georgeous – Weak Ties EP


Depaart Weak Ties Georgeous
The very first release from a brand new label here! Depaart are based in Madrid, and their debut offering comes from Georgeous, who the press release assures us has been “developing himself as a key artist in the Spanish electronic music scene”.

There's just the two tracks. Weak Ties itself starts with found sounds (rain falling, kiddies playing), before slowly building into a sonically rich deep house groove with a familiar-sounding soulful male vocal threaded lightly through it. It's one more for the sofa than the dancefloor, maybe, but you can't fault the production. Mungo, meanwhile, starts out deep as you like, all muted kicks, throbbing bass and atmospherics that go on forever… but then it slowly, inexorably builds in that Garnier kinda way, until a mournful, parping sax comes in halfway through.

I think it's actually Mungo that does it better for me. One for the start, or end, of those longer sets methinks.

Out: This week

About: This comes on… oh, I told you that. Well then, here's where to find Depaart online: website Facebook Soundcloud

William Welt – More Than Minimal EP


William Welt More Than Minimal EP 22 Digit
Three tracks in a total of six mixes here, on William Welt's first solo release for his own well-established 22 Digit Records.

Vibe & Soal [sic] is a lush, laidback deep house groove with a spoken male vocal. It's good, but for me it comes into its own more on the Ekkohaus Remix, a beefed-up dubby pass aimed fair and square at the more discerning dancefloors. Nightingale is next: in its original form, this is an esoteric, bass-heavy groove sitting on the house/techno borders, with rainforest sounds that make you think of E2/E4 or some other long-lost Loft classic. Ricardo Jefferson's remix takes it into proggier territory but for me it's the original that wins out this time. And then finally there's Seaside Samba, an unsurprisingly Latin-tinged percussive techno workout in its original form before Heisenburg turns the dark up on his big, brooding refix.

The latter cut's a bit too techno for me, so personally I'll be sticking to the first two… but the EP as a whole does demonstrate perfectly that there is, indeed, more to Welt than just the minimal techno for which he first became known.

Out: This week

About: This is number 31 from 22 Digit… and here they are on Facebook.

Source Of Soul – Control


Source Of Soul Control Unrivaled Music
You'll know this when you hear it: it's the one with a bloke's voice saying “take control in your soul”. Like the man up the mountain with his leg wrapped in polythene, you can't miss him*.

As for the track that he's saying it over… the original mix of Control starts out all stripped, tuff n' dubby, then surprises after a couple of minutes as an old-skool piano line comes cascading in to bring some light, albeit without detracting from the overall moody vibe too much. Quality stuff. Maxim Lany's rub is more sparse and techy while label boss Wez Saunders goes for a bubbly, sub-aquatic, dubby kinda feel.

Both the latter two mixes are more than playable, so this is a solid bet all round… but it's the original that's taking the gold for me.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Unrivaled Music, and I'd go so far as to say it's the best thing I've had through from them in a while. As ever, the place to head if you want to know more is the mothership Endemic Digital website.

*This will make sense if you've seen Withnail & I. If you haven't, it won't. I make no apologies for this.

JacyeeL – Back To Disco


JayceeL Back To Disco Artefact
Don't let the title fool you here. Just in case you were worried, this is a long way from the screechy, idiot-friendly side of disco-house. Back To Disco is certainly disco-influenced, naturally, but in the sense of taking influences from the mellower, more sumptuous end of the disco spectrum and subtly stretching them onto (in the case of the Original Mix) a deep house framework.

Freaky Funk's Freaked Remix is too brash for me, veering dangerously close to the kind of record I was happy to find this wasn't, but the Pavle Vasiljevic Go Deeper Remix will work well on bigger floors that like it stripped-down and techier, though the original still wins for me.

Elsewhere on the EP, The Sea Of Time sounds a little like Play-era Moby given a house makeover in that Buzzin' Fly/Leftroom/Freerange kinda vein, while What's It Gonna Be brings the EP to a close, a gentle, melodic groove with hand percussion, “ooh, ooh” vox and quite beefy, yet unobtrusive kicks.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Artefact Records, who are based in Macedonia and can be found here, here and here. Oh, and here as well!

Deep Character & Mad Boss – My Hate, Your Love EP


Deep Character Mad Boss My Hate Your Love Nite Grooves
If you ever look at the TIWWD Facebook page, you might recall I said last week about getting a big bundle of top-quality promos through from King Street… well, here's the first of the tracks in question.

Deep Character & Mad Boss are an Italian production team – there seem to be about 27 of 'em unless I'm reading the credits wrong – and what's most interesting about this one, I think, is that it fuses that current European, techy house sound with the more traditional sounds you more readily associate with King Street. Or at least, it does on the Bollo Remix of My Hate, Your Love itself, which I'd go so far as to call almost Chandler-esque in places. Almost.

As for the original of the track – your guess is as good as mine, cos it's on the EP but not on the promo! Not really sure why they do that… but anyway, rounding out the EP is Modern Theory, which is more overtly techy but equally strong. In fact it's probably my favourite cut here, what with its “Shaolin shadow boxing” vocal samples, throbbing bassline and long, atmospheric synth rises. Very cool.

Out: This week

About: This actually carries the Nite Grooves stamp, not the King Street one, but no matter – you can find them both here. You can also expect to see that link a lot over the coming few weeks!

D'Experiment – Back 2 Basics EP


D'Experiment Back 2 Basics EP Beats Me Music
And from Hungary we move on to Latvia… via Eastbourne. And Liverpool. Confusing, isn't it? Let's start again. What he have here is an EP from Latvian producer D'Experiment, who's now based in Liverpool… and it comes on Eastbourne-based Beats Me Music, whose praises I've sung on TIWWD more than once before now.

It's a three-track affair. Deep Ride pretty much does what it says on the tin, and is an all-instrumental cut working lingering, space-y pads, a squelchy Chi-town b-line and crisp snares and hi-hats. Spiritual Experience then takes us on an even deeper journey musically, while a mystery Cock-er-ney producer tells us about the importance of bass over the top.

But it's East Coast, West Coast Shit that stands out for me. It features another sampled spoken vocal, this time some rapper or other discussing… well, that bit's obvious… who finds himself placed over non-frantic but still driving 4/4s and an overall chopped, skippy kinda vibe. Fans of Transport, Salted *et al are gonna love this one…

Out: This week

About: Beats Me Music can be found at their website and on Facebook.

Bo-Cash – Satisfy EP


Bo-Cash Satisfy EP Fresh Cream
A two-tracker here from a relatively new arrival on the scene, Hungarian producer Bo-Cash. I say 'relatively new' cos he has had stuff out before apparently, but this is the first time I've come across the lad – or indeed the label, Fresh Cream Records.

As for the two tracks, then… Hot Shot sits somewhere between house and nu-disco: there's a bit of a synth-pop/indie-dance kinda influence too, but not horribly so. Personally though I'm preferring Satisfy itself, a more atmospheric affair with a darkly rumbling b-line and a “satisfy!” vocal sample that reminds me a little bit of Kate Bush, for some reason.

Not a world-beater this one, perhaps, but it's decent stuff and it's always good to hear from someone new in the game.

Out: This week

About: You can find Fresh Cream at their website, or Bo-Cash himself on Soundcloud.

BaAus – SuaAb


BaAus SuaAb Diva Records
I know what you're thinking… if it's BaAus then it should be SuAab, surely? But mine is not to reason why… mine is just to tell you that what we have here are more solid tech-house grooves from Italy's Diva Records.

Naughty Ghost is pretty much yer standard chugging dancefloor fodder, with trumpet stabs and a slightly tribal swing to the percussion giving it an Ibiza-y kinda feel. SuaAb itself is a tad more subtle, starting out deeper and building slowly, but the pick for me here is Stop Alcohol Abuse, more of a deep techno cut with sampled speech taken from what appears to be a documentary about alcohol abuse by astronauts.

I'll be honest, none of the three tracks are blowing me away on their own, but put 'em together and you have a varied package that tech-house jocks will definitely want to investigate.

Out: This week

About: You can find Diva Records at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud

Aki Bergen – Melancholy


Aki Bergen – Melancholy
Aki Bergen's Neurotraxx Deluxe might be one of the hippest labels around right now, but this latest offering from the man himself actually comes courtesy of the equally non-unhip Tokyo House Underground. There are three mixes to choose from, in what the hype sheet quite justifiably deems “a well-rounded collection”.

In its original form, Melancholy is a big room, dark-ish tech-houser with big, tribal-leaning drums, “too much” vocal snips and a druggy, warehouse-y vibe overall. As for the remixes, they both come from Masahiro Suzuki, who's also a Neurotraxx regular. His Sunnyday Service Mix is a more house-fied joint than Bergen's original, upping the fun factor with retro hands-in-the-air pianos and a jaunty walking bassline. His Navy Soltaire Remix [sic], meanwhile, is an unhurried yet still reasonably energetic groover, with a rolling, funk-fuelled b-line and garage-y female vocal overlays.

Sitting somewhere between traditional deep house and that more contemporary Berlin/East London sound, the latter mix is likely to find friends in both camps. It's also the rub that stands out most for me but it's a close thing… this is a strong package all round.

Out: This week

About: You can find Tokyo House Underground… erm… actually I can't seem to find a website or any of the usual social media links but here they are on Mixcloud

Thursday, 28 June 2012

ALBUM Robert Lamm & John Van Eps – Robert Lamm Songs: The JVE Remixes

Robert Lamm Songs The JVE Remixes
Sorry reviews have been a bit thin on the ground this week… been stupid busy. But I'm gonna be spending a significant portion of the next couple of days sitting on trains, so we should be able to catch up a bit. In the meantime, here's something of a curveball of an album… it's been out a couple of weeks now but I promised! And besides, you can't listen to tech-house all day, every day you know…

If the name Robert Lamm doesn't mean anything to you, he's the singer and main songwriter from Chicago, and what this album consists of is Chicago classics from their late 60s/early 70s days as a jazz-rock-fusion outfit (ie, before they went all AOR later on), remixed by contemporary producer John Van Eps into…well, therein lies the rub. I'm not sure exactly how you'd describe the fruits of JVE's remixing labours. But "Latin-leaning, jazz-flecked downtempo grooves with a lounge bent," is the closest I could get, just off the top of my head.

Not being any kind of Chicago expert, it's the refixes of well-known tracks like 25 Or 6 To 4 and Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? that are appealing most to me. But taken as whole, this is definitely an interesting listen, even if I'll confess to being a little outside the TIWWD comfort zone trying to write about it. You can see tracks here slotting easily into Sunday chill-out sets and the like as well, so a job well done, I'd say.

About: If your leftfield sonic fancy has been tickled, you can find out more (and buy the album) at the Robert Lamm website. Oh yeah, and it's brought to you by the Blue Infinity label.

PS Some good news: one of the things I've been busy with this week, has been putting the framework in place for a TIWWD revamp, redesign and relaunch! More details soon but it's all tremendously exciting. No, really.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Johnny Loves House – Mobile House Sampler Part 2

jonny loves house mobile house sampler
A three-track sampler from Brighton-based producer Johnny Loves House here, on his own self-titled digital label… and it's cracking stuff.

Crying works a looping "Didn't this feel like love?" vocal in a manner that recalls Booker T's classic Didn't I? (as Underground Mass on Azuli, for the non-oldsters), atop a fat, chunky b-line, crisp beats and the odd retro stab. Morning is another slightly retro-leaning affair, with more old-skool synth action and more chopped-up vocal snips, while Yesterday rounds out the EP, a slightly more deep n' groovy affair…

Jonny cut his teeth on the East Midlands free party scene, and it shows. If you dig the funky, garage-tinged deepness of the likes of DiY, Inland Knights and The Littlemen then these three straight-up 'dancefloor deep' cuts should please you for sure.

Out: This week

About: You can find Jonny Loves House – the man and the label – at his website and on Facebook. Oh yeah, and you can also get hold of this EP via Bandcamp.

Monday, 25 June 2012

James Silk – Downside EP

James Silk Downside EP Form-and Function
The latest here from a rising producer that I've sung the praises of on TIWWD more than once…

It's a four-track affair. The title cut is a big, throbbing slab of contemporary-style deepness that does strange, twisted things with the vocal from Diana's disco anthem Upside Down…  I don't THINK it''s actually a sample, but it's been so sonically messed-with it's kinda hard to tell! Part of me wants to scream 'sacrilege' but a) it works, b) the track's definitely an entity in its own right, rather than a shoddy rip-off of Ms Ross's classic and c) not everyone is an old fart like me and 90% of clubbers that hear it won't care, or possibly even realise!

So it's getting the TIWWD thumbs-up after all. Elsewhere, Turning Over reworks Clarity's 1985 boogie/R&B nugget The Way U Make Me Feel and gives it something of a late 90s disco-house-in-Ibiza twist, coming compete with a (TBH not vastly different) Eivissa Edit just to hammer the point home, while What You Waitin' For doesn't, as you might be expecting, take a bite from the Jungle Bros but instead is another throbby, now-sounding deep dancefloor cut, with a looping "if you want it you can have it, come get it" vocal, the overall effect being not dissimilar to being transported back to The Tunnel in ’95 with Vasquez working his big dark room magic.

Another sterling effort from Mr Silk then, once more demonstrating the young producer's remarkable knowledge of his musical heritage.

Out: This week

About: This comes from Form-and Function, which is co-run by Endemic's Wez Saunders but seems to exist as a more separate entity… here's where to find 'em on Soundcloud and Facebook.

PS: Just kinda catching up with this week's tuneage so that's probably your lot for tonight, unless of course anything absolutely blows my socks off :-)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

So many tunes, so little time 19

Okay, got a TON of stuff to talk about for this week's round-up so gonna have to hurtle through 'em pretty quickly!

Andrey Potomkin – Astrogation EP
More of Incepto Deep's trademark mellow grooves here – think the very deepest of progressive house, made for chilling on beaches or for sinking into sofas to when it's getting very, very late…
More info

Brainpain/Culprate – FU/Stompa
Right to the opposite end of the spectrum now… normally I'd say this slab of twisted, bass-warping dubstep was too gnarly and aggressive for me, but you can't help liking a record whose chorus is “Eff me? Eff you. Eff you, mother-effer” – as in that's exactly what he says. As for Stompa on the B, well, lacking FU's smile-factor that's just a bit too gnarly and aggressive for me…
More info

Noon + Oliver A – Incognito
Not really into the Underworld-ish vocal on the A here but check B-side Hope for some decent driving deep/tech action with a funkier twist.
More info

Owen Howells – You EP
Some solid tech-house grooves here from my man Owen H, coming on the ever-checkable Trendy Mullet and boasting a remix from no less a personage than Saytek. And owing a distinct debt to Kraftwerk in places, too…
More info

Trevor O'Neil – New Era
Another solid tech-house groover here from Mr Neil on Seamless Trax, complete with a tuffer, more percussive remix from Graham Sahara & Central Avenue.
More info

Various – Pornographic 50
Spain's Pornographic celebrates reaching its 50th release with a nine-track, nine-artist label sampler EP. Expect a mix of tuff, driving house and loopy techno, with carnival-esque rhythms much to the fore.
More info

Various – Unreleased Remixes EP
A three-track EP from Serotonin Digital, home to yet more tuff, driving tech-house. There's EVER such a lot of this stuff about but the Serotonin Thieves's mix of Angel Stoxx's Respect is worth checking for sure…
More info

Various – This Is Development
The Manchester club night and label has a 15-track compilation album out this week, and there's a four-track vinyl sampler about as well. So I'm a bit confused as to why they sent a six-track promo! Which is the main reason it didn't get a bigger review, because if deep house and deep techno with a soulful twist appeal there's plenty to enjoy here.
More info

Wally Lopez – Keep Running The Melody
Most of the mixes here are WAY too electro-y and dirty Dutch-ish. But check the Redondo Remix, which ditches the nasty grating synths and serves up instead a rather likeable rolling, piano-flecked tech-houe groove. You've still got that pop tart vocal to contend with, though…
More info

SITUATION feat. Herbatronic TRFTF 3000 – The Robot
One for the lovers of analogue synths and vintage Italo here, with a very silly vocodered “my boyfriend is a robot” vocal… there's even a Daniele Baldelli Remix. The more house-fied and Balearic-leaning Dom's Jazzy Rub is the one for me though.
More info

Various – Endemic Summer Sampler 2012
This would have gotten a bigger review but it's been something of a busy week and it's not like Endemic don't get plenty of love on TIWWD generally! Seven tracks from seven artists covering various shades of deep and tech house, with the bass thob of Chris Vega's So Preach and the cheeky disco stabs of A. Rodriguez's True Love among the highlights.
More info

DJ Chus + Boris feat Yana – Arriba!
Spain's past master of tough, tribal house comes to Great Stuff, Munich's past masters of tough, techy house grooves. The results are… pretty much what you'd expect really, but as finely crafted as you'd expect, too.
More info

dubspeeka – I Like That
Druggy, twisted and seriously jacking tech-house and techno ahoy… there are two mixes of the title track (Original and Pierre Deutschmann) but it's actually the somewhat deeper bonus cut Gumbo I'm feeling the most.
More info

THANKS ALSO THIS WEEK TO: Alessio Lavorini, Alexander East, Audionatica, Carl Jurgens, CJ RCM, Danarchism, Daniel Avery + Deadstock 33s, Deas + Lubica, Federico Grazzini, La Torre, Matthias Schaffhäuser, Mike Gillenwater, Mindgamers, Patonay, Pete McCarthey, Presslaboys, Quentin Hiatus, Rafael Cerato, Simon Firth and Flumo Recordings. As ever, bound to be some gems in there I've overlooked but there's only so much a boy can do…

Harold Heath & Tom Lown – HAL 9000

Harold Heath Tom Lown HAL 9000 DeepWit
A heavyweight team-up here, lent yet more weight by the presence of a remix from Q-Burns Abstract Message. It's a split affair, with an original apiece: Tycho from Heath and Urbana from Lown. The two then take it in turns to remix each other's tracks, while the Q-Burns remix actually blends the two together. And yes, it is a bit confusing.

Tycho is, in both mixes, a pleasantly chugging, early-set kind of affair, based around an insistently rolling riff made up of – I think – muted piano chords. Lown sprinkles the track with a little added late-night space dust, while his own Urbana is a laidback, post-club groove to start with that Heath beefs up a little on his rub.

Q-Burns AM's mastermix thingummy then mixes n' matches the lot into a more abstract, leftfield concoction that gets quite dub-wise in places. But I've gotta say, it's actually the original of Tycho that stands out for me.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by Denmark's mighty DeepWit… so here's the usual website, Facebook and Soundcloud links

Enthousisaste Gasten & Freak Strano – Slide It In

Enthousiaste Gasten Freak Strano Slide It In Nightbird Music
Sebastian Davidson's Nightbird Music serves up what is undoubtedly one of the label's techiest offerings to date here.

In its original form, Slide It In is a throbbing, pulsating deep house/deep techno cut that opens with a long dramatic intro, then settles into a bottom-heavy, bubbling groove, with a burst of hands-in-the-air tinkling synths in the middle. Seb's own remix brings the light, and is a sun-drenched, Balearic-leaning affair, while the Phonic Funk rerub takes us in a slightly proggier direction.

But for all their birdsong and lilting Spanish guitars, neither remix can compete with the original when it comes to energy and the sheer order-to-dance factor. Something of a departure for Nightbird, then, but a successful one.

Out: This week

About: This is number 30 from Nightbird Music, who can be found on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Andre Crom – Reality EP

Andre Crom Reality EP OFF Recordings
Insofar as there's any such thing as a "party anthem" in deep house, this latest EP from OFF Recordings houses not one but two of 'em. Er, possibly. Cos it's a funny thing with revisiting well-known vocals, innit? Get it wrong and you're branded a cheesemonger… get it right and you've got a "sure-fire party-starter" on your hands.

You'll have your own opinion, no doubt, of Crom's use of snippets from Soul II Soul on Reality itself, and from Raw Silk on Hypnotizing, but to these ears both work very well, putting this slab of (generally speaking) chunky, funky deep/tech vibes firmly in the party-starter camp and keeping us well clear of the cheeseboard.

Remixes come from Dusky and Homework, respectively. For me it's Crom's original of Hypnotizing that stands out overall, but you'll have your own opinions on that as well, I'm sure.

Out: This week

About: OFF Recordings is, of course, Crom's own label based in Berlin… here's their website, Facebook and Soundcloud pages.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Kid Mark – In My Hood EP

Kid Mark In My Hood Deso Records
A solid house three-tracker from Kid Mark, courtesy of Deso Records.

In My Hood itself well warrants its choice as lead track, coming on like vintage Strictly Rhythm circa 1993, all NYC beats, rough-edged strings and a fat pumping b-line, topped off with female vocal snips. Railroad is in a similar style but slightly more stripped-down and percussive, and lacking the title cut's garage-y warmth, while Cristina moves into more contemporary territory with its subtly-applied Afro vox and tinkling keys but keeps those raw Shelter-esque beats a-comin'. But it's In My Hood all the way for me.

Out: This week

About: Deso Records is of course Brian "Desos" Løgstrup's label and can be found here, here and here (website, Facebook, Soundcloud)

Oz Romita – We Always Getting High

Oz Romita We Always Getting High Yellowjax
Some tough n' chuggy deep/tech grooves here from Yellowjax Recordings outta NYC.

There's three mixes of We Always Getting High, and while the above description more or less sums them all up, they do vary quite a lot. The original is quite a pumping, peaktime kinda houser, predicated around some very familiar vocal samples, a spoken German-sounding vocal informing us that "we do that dance all night/we always getting high", crisp beats and a seriously fat, buzzy bassline. The Roderick Fox Remix takes us into darker, techier territory and, truth be told, is a little TOO dark and techy for me, but no matter cos the standout for me here is the refix from label boss Lyle Quach.

In Quach's hands, We Always Getting High becomes a no-nonsense, heads-down chugger, with the vocal samples used more sparingly but with a solid rollicking groove throughout and some great subaquatic xylophone drops. Killer stuff that'll rock 3am floors but that's also suitable for home stoning… perfect.

 Out: This week

About: Yellowjax is, as I said, Lyle Quach's label. Find 'em on Soundcloud and on Facebook, or all their other online outlets are listed on their website.

Sasch – Back And Forth

Sasch Back And Forth Steyoyoke
Fledgling Berlin label Steyoyoke serve up more quality deepness here, this time from a producer whose past credits include releases on the uber-hip Neurotraxx Deluxe, among others.

I Just Want is a cool, unhurried deep houser with just the merest hints of disco around the edges. The disco factor gets upped considerably on Come On, which is positively Stardust-esque, yet somehow still manages to maintain that Berlin sang-froid. And then finally there's Marian – not the cover I was half-expecting after DK Watts' little bit of Sisters-biting last week, but rather a deep n' dreamy groover with a light touch of the Balearic about it, built for sun-ups and sun-downs.

Four releases in and every one a winner so far – Steyoyoke is definitely a label to be keeping an eye on.

Out: This week

About: You can find Steyoyoke at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud. Tell 'em TIWWD sent you.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Rich NxT & Seb Vito – Gophers In The Cupboard


Rich NXT Seb Vito Gophers
Some seriously dark, down and druggy – and very contemporary – deep/tech-house grooves here, courtesy of Fuse London.

Not got massively loads to say about it to be honest, but it's a crackin' EP all the same – if you like it bass-y, twisted and made for east London warehouse, Berlin basements and the like, then you're gonna dig this for sure. With three originals plus a remix of Eyes Wide Open by label bosses Alex Arnout and Enzo Siragusa, you can't really go wrong.

Out: This week

About: As I said this comes on Fuse London, which is the label of the club night of the same name. Find 'em at their website and on Facebook.

Awon & Bedmo Disco – B-Funk EP

Awon Bedmo Disco B-Funk
Okay, I have to admit a family connection here, cos Bedmo Disco are two former colleagues of mine from the iDJ days. But mates or not, I wouldn't review this if it wasn't actually a good record. I'd just mutter some excuse about being busy, or the dog eating my review copy, or something.

But it is good, so I don't have to. Just as well, cos they know damn well I don't have a dog.

Anyway, so what you get are two tracks apiece from the Bedmo boys and Awon, all four of which are lo-slung funkers influenced heavily by early 80s electro, electrofunk and proto-garage. And when I say 'heavily' I mean heavily! Awon's Good Lovin' comes on like a lost Levan dub of a Patrice Rushen nugget and is one highlight, but mention must also be made of Bedmo Disco's Illusion, which will be any sample-spotter's delight – listen carefully (or not so carefully in some cases) for cheeky bites from Ma Foom Bey, Weekend, Walking On Sunshine and other 80s classics*.

If there's a criticism here, it's that this doesn't really go much beyond pastiche. But that's me over-compensating by being harshly objective – you could, after all, say the same thing about a million retro Chi-town housers I've reviewed glowingly on here. That minor cavil notwithstanding, this is pretty much can't-fail stuff for your nu-disco floors.

Out: This week

About: This is number six from the Bedmo Disco stable, which is the boys' own label, obviously, and based right here in sunny Bristol. It's also the first that's actually all original productions, the rest having been boots and re-edits, so it's good to see 'em stepping things up a notch.

Oh yeah, and it's on strictly limited blue vinyl as well! Which is always nice.

PS: Incidentally, one of the very first records I ever owned was on blue vinyl… an HMV seven-inch from the 1950s for kids, with the multiplication tables 1-7 set to music. I've still got it, if you don't believe me. I also had a red vinyl 7-inch about the littlest fire engine, but sadly I trod on that one and broke it, aged about six. I should have listened to my Mum and tidied my room, shouldn't I?

* Including one stupidly well-known electro anthem whose name, frustratingly, has been avoiding me all day. Though on the plus side this did mean I at least got to spend a pleasant hour or two rinsing the likes on Whodini and Strafe on YouTube while at the day job this morning.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Chronophone – Voce De Sa Trincha EP

Chronopone Voce De Sa Trincha
Veteran US house label King Street is definitely on something of a roll right now. I had a big batch of promos through from them the other day and almost every release coming up over the next couple of months is a killer, trust. Don't know what they're doing but let's hope they keep doing it…

In the meantime, there's this, a five-track EP from French producer Chronopone, AKA Stephan Joulin, that serves up various different flavours of deep house. Por La Vida is a languid, laidback affair, all lingering pads and muted trumpets,  while Mellow Cotton is a sparse, techy number with proggy overtones. Both are good at what they do, but the standout by far here is the title track.

NowI don't know what the original of Voce De Sa Trincha sounds like – nor the fifth track Gold, for that matter, cos they've not included those on the promo mailout. But for once I'm not screwing, cos what they did send is the DZeta & Basile Remix. And THAT is as officially crucial a slab of heavily dub-inflected deepness as June is likely to deliver.

After that, Gold could be a Eurotrance cover of the Spandau Ballet song with a rap by Dappy, for all I care – you'd still need this anyway.

Out: This week

About: Here's that familiar King Street link again! So, just for variety's sake, here's the Dzeta & Basile Facebook page as well. Haven't heard from these boys in a while – they used to feature on TIWWD quite a lot when it started and I put them in iDJ's rising stars of deep house thing last year, then it's been a bit quiet since – but great to have them back.

PS That's it for tonight… been a long day and I'm tired. Plus after getting lost in the sparse, bass-y beauty of the DZeta & Basile offering, nothing else would sound as good right now anyway...

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Audio Units – Sample The Example

Audio Units Sample The Example
The digital DJ debate continues, as on this latest from Al Bradley's long-running 3am, an unnamed speaker vents his spleen at all the haters who diss fellow DJs for using Traktor, Serato etc… but gives those DJs who ARE using Traktor, Serato but AREN'T doing it properly something of a wake-up call as well. "As long as you can rock a party, that's what it's about," is pretty much the case put forward.

Now, I'm not getting bogged down in that whole argument here, for many reasons… perhaps we'll discuss it another time but right now all you need to know is, this track rocks.

For me, it's the Full Vox Mix that works best, for sheer tongue-in-cheek value if nowt else ("If you're a new DJ, learn your fucking history. That's why the older DJs are gettin' mad at y'all… y'all don't know shit!"). But there's no shortage of less vocal-centric remixes. James Silk's rub is his trademark high-quality, old skool-leaning deepness and the Ruben F Ghetto Mix takes us into techier territory with firing 909s to jack-jack-jack your body, while label boss Al Bradley's 3am Deep Dub is a spaced-out, head-mangled affair that shouldn't really take much explaining.

Like I said, all you need to know is this rocks – in whichever mix you go for. And if a track rocks a party, that's what it's about!

Out: This week

About: This week, you can mostly find 3am Recordings on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Pretty Criminals – Broken Heart Pt 1

Pretty Criminals Broken Heart
With their recent releases having gone down more of a techno route, it's good to see those Essex boys Pretty Criminals back in the deep house saddle with this latest offering.

Broken Heart comes in three mixes (for now… I'm guessing there IS gonna be a Pt 2!). The Original and Miami Ice mixes don't vary huge amounts, though: both are fairly straight-up deep housers in the contemporary style, with looped-up lines of soulful vocal and an insistent organ riff throughout. Okay so, yeah, The Original makes more of the beats, the Miami Ice rub more of the organ, and I'm just SLIGHTLY preferring the latter, if pushed… but to any but the most nerdy deep house spotter they'd be two peas in a pod. Both also have more than a little of that Berlin flavour about 'em, which makes them the obvious choices for dancefloor play in non-specialist clubs.

For TIWWD's purposes, though, it's the Patrick Podage & Nikola Kotevski Remix that's the real find here – a sparse n' dubby heads' delight. Like the song says: shake 'em down…

Out: This week

About: This is another gem brought to you by that bastion of all things deep, Scott Harrington's always-checkable Savoir Faire Musique. Click through for a fresh DJ mix from Mr Harrington himself as well.

Stefano Noferini – Refusal EP

Stefano Noferini Refusal
A nice quick one to start with tonight, cos there's only the two tracks, in one mix apiece. Which makes a blogger's life easier!

Refusal itself is a perfectly acceptable but to frank also fairly unremarkable tech-house chugger… it'll keep 'em moving but that's about as much as I've got to say about it, really. Numa on the flip, though… that's a different matter.

It's not clever, but it certainly is big. BIG, in fact. If bouncy, house-y club techno with an oink-oink bassline and a nu-NRG/hardbag-style* three-note synth riff sounds like your idea of a good time on the dancefloor, then you're going to love this.

Sometimes you don't need to be clever, do you? Sometimes you just need to make people jump up and down. And with energy in spades, this'll do that for sure.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Umek's 1605 Music Therapy. Who've gotten quite good at this tech-house lark over the past couple of years, just in case you hadn't noticed… here's their website proper as well.

* Dare I say almost trance-y? Well yeah, I dare… I'd just rather not.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Desos – Ghetto Love

Desos Ghetto Love
As you may or may not be aware, 11 blokes from England will be playing a game of football against 11 blokes from Ukraine tonight, with a view to seeing which of them gets to play a game against 11 blokes from Spain next week and which of them gets to go home and be hated by their entire nation.

Now, I'm not the world's biggest football fan by any means but it seems rude not to go to a pub and shout at a large screen to mark the event, particularly when the sun's shining. So this will probably be your only blog review tonight… the record in question is a bit of a cracker though, it has to be said.

Regular readers will know that Desos (AKA Brian Løgstrup) has been one of TIWWD's favourite producers of the past year or two, and he doesn't disappoint here. It's the original version of Ghetto Love that's doing it best for me, a proper slab of uncompromising deepness with drifting, mournful sax sat atop sparse, crisp beats, lingering piano chords and an unassuming throbbing b-line. But the acid-tinged and slightly more driving Detroit Swindle KFC Rework ain't too shoddy either.

As I said, more quality stuff from a producer you really need to be keeping an eye on.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Desos's own Deso Records. Click the link for their website or find 'em on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Monday, 18 June 2012

DK Watts – Respect The Underground

DK Watts Respect The Underground Bounce House
About, ooh, five years ago or something, it was a track called Blow & Hos that first hammered it home to me just how special a house outfit Short Bus Kids really were. So after the cocaine-referencing track from Mr Pedros below, now seems like a good time to tell you about this new five-track EP from one-half of said Short Bus Kids, Mr DK Watts.

Respect The Underground itself is a stomping, techy affair with a walking b-line, big synths, tuff beats and the obligatory shouts out to NYC, Detroit and Chicago, The Mayor is more tuff n' techy stompiness, this time with Dirty Harry samples, while Dance Yeah! is a floaty, proggy kinda houser surely built with a certain Mediterranean island in mind. But the highlights here for me are Been A Lot Of Places and Gothic Girl.

I'm digging the former driving, big room cut – it's got almost an Lawler-esque kinda feel to it – mostly for its spoken vocal samples, which need to be listened to closely, I'll say no more than that. And I'm digging the latter simply for daring to sample The Greatest Band In History and getting away with it, based as it is around a bassline lifted lock, stock and two smoking sandalwood joss-sticks from The Sisters Of Mercy's Lucretia My Reflection.

All right so yes, I'm a sad old (ex-)goth. But it made me smile… and IMNERHO it's also one of the most effective bits of RAWK! purloinage since Tinman bit Cobain and co back in the day. So there.

Out: This week

About: This comes of course on Bounce House. Their website doesn't seem to work anymore but here's their Soundcloud and Facebook pages.

Mr Pedros – It Came From Us

Mr Pedros It Came From Us
In which the Sankeys resident serves up a tuff-ish, driving house cut that you won't forget once you hear it: it's the one with the extensive samples from Blow. As in the Johnny Depp/Ray Liotta film about cocaine smuggling. Normally I might cavil at the sample choice… not for moral reasons particularly, just cos drug talk isn't really the most original material to choose, is it? But in this case, it just works, as do the shoulder-shaking, lolloping beats and insistent bass stabs.

On the flip, Who Dis is another driving houser, again with the almost-tribal beats and dark room feel… in fact we're almost in mid-90s Vasquez/Tenaglia territory. Again, it works, but it can't quite compete with the A-side for me.

You're still gonna need this for the A anyway, though!

Out: This week

About: What with Mr Pedros having a job playing records at the Beehive Mill, it's no surprise that this comes on Manchester Underground Music really, is it?

Ksoze – Wobble Jazz

Ksoze Wobble Jazz
Sorry there were no blog reviews yesterday… spent most of the day climbing a download mountain and by the time I finished that, I'd kinda lost the will to do much else. But anyway here we are back once again…

And we'll start with a nice easy one. Easy cos there's only the two mixes; easy because it's pretty 'easy' in the sense of being laidback, mellow, easy on the ear etc; and easy because, well, if you know the kind of dusty, downtempo vibes that Cold Busted trade in, then there's not a lot that I can tell you about Wobble Jazz that the title doesn't! Except that the remix comes from Vitamin D, but to be honest even that doesn't do huge amounts different.

But don't let either the lack of mix variety or my shoddy, half-arsed review put you off… if it's lazy, Sunday afternoon grooves you're after, this is gonna delight.

Out: Wednesday (June 20)

About: This comes, as I just suggested, on Denver's Cold Busted. Find 'em at their blog, on Facebook or on Soundcloud.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Klartraum – Playfulness EP

Klartraum Playfulness
I've gotta say the Klartraum/Lucidflow school of deep, dubby, thinking man's techno has really been hitting the spot for me lately… so here's some more of it.

Three mixes, and while the above description works as an umbrella for all of 'em, they do vary. The Kris Wadsworth Space Face Remix is the deepest and dubbiest of all, leaving Nadja and Helmut sounding like they were locked in a huge underground water tank for a few days with nothing but a big bag of weed and a drum machine for company, while the Tim Underbelly Soft Porn Remix flirts with the very deepest of prog textures, layering sound upon sound to create an atmospheric and ever-evolving mix.

But while both of those are very cool, the pick for me here is still the Original, a glitchy, twitchy affair that's as close as deep techno ever gets to two-step garage. FFWD veterans, minimal/micro-house devotees and red-eyed dawn tokers generally should enjoy this one a lot.

Out: This week, digitally (it's been kicking around on vinyl for a couple of weeks but it only landed with me last week)

About: This comes not on Klartraum's Lucidflow, but on Tim's own UK-based Underbelly Records. Here's the obligatory website, Facebook and Soundcloud links, then…

Jesus Soblechero – Followers EP

Jesus Soblechero Followers
And from one Jesus to another! But while Jesus Pablo is an old friend of this blog and hails from Liverpool, Jesus Soblechero is a new name to me, about whom all I can tell you is that he's described on the hype sheet as a "Spanish funk master". Which has to be the coolest job description I've read all week.

There are four tracks on the EP in total: three mixes of the title track plus bonus cut Sangha. In its Original form, Followers itself is a tuff-ish deep/tech houser based around rattling snares/hi-hats, weird chopped-up vocal snips and an equally weird (possibly reversed?) pulsing synth line. A remix from Darkrow ups the tempo, largely drops the synth and makes a little more of vocal, while the Fernando Mesa rub is similar but more energetic again, veering towards Great Stuff-esque tech-house. And then finally Sangha is another percussion-led deep/tech affair, but with a slightly more organic, soulful feel.

All told, these are stripped-down, jackin' cuts made for moving underground 4am dancefloors. And we like that sort of thing round here, don't we?

Out: This week

About: This comes on Soblechero's own ThreeSoul Records, who (obviously) are also new to me. But thanks to the power of Google, here's their MySpace, Facebook and Soundcloud.

Jesus Pablo & Adam Brass – Jet Lag

Jesus Pablo Adam Brass Jet Lag
Good to see Jesus Pablo getting some more widespread recognition, with this latest release (this time in cahoots with one Adam Brass) coming via the mighty i! Records.

In its Original form, Jet Lag is a fairly sedate deep houser, with a lounge-y kinda sound set but a glitchier feel, particularly to the top-end percussion, than my saying that might lead you to expect. House Riders tone down the glitchy elements, bring the male spoken vocal snips to the fore and add some lovely mournful, jazzy sax, the Kirby Remix is a slightly dubbier and hence slightly more floor-friendly pass, while finally the Patrick Podage mix takes us deeper in late-night territories again.

What's perhaps missing here is a mix that really flips the script, but these are very solid grooves as ever from the Liverpudlian boy-done-good all the same, with the Kirby and House Riders rubs vying for the top honours for me.

Out: This week

About: You can find i! Records at their website and on Facebook.