Friday, 29 May 2009

Bentley & Ben Gomori - Alpha EP

Seamless deliver the goods once again, this time with some nice chunky house grooves coming in mixes to suit a range of tastes. Peacock Theory is on a proggy tip but still pretty deep and funky, in a similar way to how Lexicon Avenue operate, and comes with a Chris MiMo mix that's just a little bit techier without getting silly. Maida Vale is another proggy cut that could have come off a Sasha mix circa 1993/94, and Jay Kay gives it a funkier, housier rework. There's just a smidge of electro to his remix, too… but then at 5:01, along comes a MASSIVE old skool hands in the air piano breakdown that's guaranteed to put a big daft grin on the face of 'those that remember'. Come on!

About the label: I've waxed lyrical about Seamless Black Label before, suffice to say they're on point here and here's the website. Oh yeah and while you're there check out the rather spiffing Best Nights Ever compilation, too, of which you can read a full review in the summer issue of iDJ.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

El Provost ft. D.Ham & Tina Penni - Days and Times

Not sure why this didn't make the iDJ reviews cut except, well, time… and space… anyway it's certainly good enough that it should have done. D'oh. But then that's what this blog is for, ya see. So that's all right then.

So yeah, a nice solid deep houser with a spoken male vocal, female snippets here and there, and coming in mixes from Population 3, Daniel Kyo and tONKPROJECT which cover a pretty broad spectrum of deep niceness… my money's on the tONKPROJECT Red Remix but you can decide for yourself, obviously.

About the label: Days And Times is on Elevation Recordings, which is a great little deep house label based in Galway, Ireland. Don't know a huge amount about them but they're kind enough to send me lots of music and it's always worth a checking, and they've had stuff out before now by the very respectable likes of David Duriez and Fish Go Deep, so hit up their MySpace and show some love!

Broken Logik - Static Solution

According to the hype sheet Broken Logik 'are a Midlands-based deep house and chill-out artist,' which – terrible grammar aside – pretty much sums up what's on offer here. Of the three tracks, the Original Mix of Static Solution is the obvious choice for club play, a nice steady deep house groover that doesn't do huge amounts but will keep the floor moving. The Sunset Mix of the same is an ambient/downtempo kind of affair, almost beatless and with dreamy synth washes a-plenty. And then bonus cut 'White Tide' is about 70% like the former, 30% like the latter, if you see what I mean.

About the label: It's on Ooze Recordings, who are based in Wolverhampton. They seem to want to keep their identity under wraps but you can read more about them here.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Tom Belton - Irresistible

Not a world-beater by any means, but acceptable enough as the poppier end of 'funky house' goes. What I find appealing about this kind of 'commercial' sound right now is that it's currently so UNcommercial that the peeps out there doing it must surely be doing it just cos they love it... well, either that or they're completely clueless. 

Either way, ten years ago this would probably have been a hit on some major label, now it's on a little indie out of Brighton. Bless. In the case of Irresistible, matters are somewhat helped by having a trio of mixes from Stonebridge, who has been doing pop-flavoured vocal house with considerably more panache than just about anyone else, since time.

About the label: it's on Born To Dance, which is based in Brighton (er, as I just said) and has been around for about six years now (so their website tells me). Oh, and it's out on May 25 and - bless 'em again - it's on vinyl, and everything. That's what we like to see.

Parov Stelar - Monster EP

Head straight for the third track Silent Snow, which is the kind of jazz-fuelled wigout you can imagine someone like Carter, Sneak or Farina dropping and the place going ker-razy. Pity the title track is noisy electro-rock-dance bollocks then, really. The other track Nosferatu is a bit of a big room number with a certain charm to its driving rave-y urgency, but TBH I'd be ignoring this if it wasn't for Silent Snow. Apparently some remixes of Silent Snow are also on the way so I'll keep you posted, if I get posted them!

About the label: It''s on Austrian label Etage Noir. Which is a new one on me but judging by their website they've been going for a bit. Who knew?

John Oudo - It's Alright

"It's all right"* is about the size of this one, a perfectly playable tune in that soul/jazz-inflected kinda way that will go down with fans of MAW or Bugz without, probably, ever really setting the floor on fire. The best thing about it is when singer Dionne Mitchell - who undoubtedly has a fine jazz voice, and who's apparently been an X-Factor finalist** - goes into scat mode. I'm a sucker for a scat vocal. Skibby-ba-da-ba-daa!

About the label: it's on Bigspin Music, which is Oudo's own label and based in that London. Visit their website by clicking here.

*note correct spelling!
**I have never even seen X-Factor, I'm very pleased to say, so will have to take their word for this. 

Johnwaynes - Libertango

Skip the 'pavement cafe in Barca' vibes of the tango-tastic and harmonium-sporting original and head for two of the 30 squillion remixes (oh all right, seven), namely Llorca's Art Of Tones Remix, which is kinda groovy in that Berlin minimal-goes-a-bit-house kinda way, or better, bonus cut Liberdad, which is not so much a remix but a different track using similar elements - except no bloody harmonium - to create a passable deep house chugger with a nice Detroit feel to the string stabs.

About the label: it's on Compost, and I'm not even going to bother to explain. If you REALLY don't know Compost then click here and while you're there you can also admire the Siri Svegler record sleeve on the home page. She is a very pretty lady, nein?

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Roland Clark pres Urban Soul - 'Until We Meet Again'

Roland Clark has made records I wasn't in love with, but not, I don't think, under the Urban Soul banner - pretty much everything with the Urban Soul stamp on it, going right back to 'Alright' back in the day, has been pretty much essential in my book. Until We Meet Again is no exception, a simply beautiful paean to a lost love. Six mixes on the full release apparently, but I only got sent the two from Dolls Combers. But those will do! If you like it deep and soulful this is for you.

About the label: it's on the mighty King Street Sounds... just one of the best and longest-running US house stables there is, nuff said!

ALSO NEW from King Street this month are Magic by FCKS feat Manchildblack, which is one for those who like it very very VERY soulful, plus a couple of cuts on their new 'noisy stuff for noughties kids' label Street King from Geronimo Cadillac (a version of Primal Scream's Rocks) and Supernova Vs Johnny Dangerous

Dekata Project - Viral EP

Zed Bias has been making great pigeonhole-defying records for years, Natalie Williams is this country's most under-rated soul voice by miles. Put them together and the results were bound to be pretty darn special. Enter this four-tracker from their new joint project (in fairness I should also mention songwriter & saxman Sam Sharp at this point, since he it was that brought the pair together).

Actually, Natalie only sings on one track, a cover of Secret Smile by Semisonic. This was one of the few 'indie' tracks of the late 90s that I really loved so Natalie covering it is a bit spooky and probably means we should get married or something, ha ha ha! The other three tracks are sung by newcomers Chloe Morgan, Yvette Riby-Williams and Neo Josua. All though fit in a fairly similar 'soulful, pop-tinged and just lovely' kinda box. Think Moloko, Crazy P, Barefoot, the first Ultra Nate album, Lisa Shaw… just quality dancefloor-inspired music for grown-ups, is the general idea.

Hear the tracks: at Dekata Project's MySpace

About the label: it's on Doshiwa Records, about whom I don't know anything except this EP is available for just £1 from their website, which is something you probably shouldn't ignore!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Steve Mac & Paul Harris - Dizzy Heights

Must admit I'm not really feeling the original mix of this, it starts out in a cool French Kiss style but then gets far too in-your-face screechy-acid-techy for me, in a Higher State kinda way. Brrrr. I'm liking the Nic Fanciulli remix a lot more: again it's very techy but in a more restrained style and all the better for it, with that Berlin swing to the drums which should earn it favour at the mo'

About the label: This is why I'm writing about this one, really, cos it's on sMACk, which is Steve Mac's new label (this is their 2nd release), and Steve is a top geezer, with the emphasis on 'geezer' :-). Nic is also a nice lad who's done a lot to show love for iDJ so gotta give this props, really! Steve Mac's MySpace has some more info... 

Oh, and also, recently while sorting out the record room I rediscovered That Big Track... what a tune that was before they stuck the shoddy vocal on it!

Izzy Stardust - 'After The Love'

Actually it's Izzy Stardust feat Dave McPharrell, to give it the full name

Anyway, yeah... so it seems like a good 50% of stuff I get sent at the moment is a cover, or samples a very familiar old vocal/riff, or is some kind of 'cheeky' bootie or rework... collective nostalgia for the glory days of rave? Attempt to cash in on the so-called 'house revival'? You decide. I don't really care, early house n' rave was full of old disco/funk loops anyway, what goes around etc!

On to this, then, and yes, it's a take on the More Protein classic of days gone by, which I always quite liked to start with. The Original is a pretty respectable chuggy houser, c/w Instrumental; the Dom Kane mix is more upbeat and driving with a techy feel to it, don't mind it but again it comes c/w an Instrumental, and the latter drags a bit. But for me the real action is on the two Greg Stainer mixes (Piano Mix and Bassick Dub), which tread a frankly sillier path with a big handbag/bassline house organ riff. This one had me bouncing around in my seat at work today while day-jobbing on a sports magazine so I guess that's job done. 

About the label: It's on Seamless Twelves. Seamless is quite an interesting label I think, they've gone from being a bit of an also-ran in their earlier days to right now one of the most reliable house labels around - everything on Seamless Black Label is usually at least worth checking.  Seamless Twelves is their more commercial side but check this anyway!


Das Volt - 'Gestures'

Couldn't review this for iDJ's house page cos it's too downtempo to really be called 'deep house', although there's definitely a lot of that in it... which I guess makes it instead "a fine offering inna nu/cosmic disco kinda stylee"... not that there's anything especially 'nu' about it... just nice floaty vibes with a hefty dose of very restrained funk in the bottom end that stops it from wandering off into 'pointless head music' territory. In all you get four mixes of Gestures, plus the equally groovy and particularly funky bonus cut Fantasy

About the label:: it's on Late Night Audio, which is run by Danny Clark and Toby Tobias. They describe their music policy as 'house, Detroit, proto funk, Afrobeat and discoid- influenced flavors,' which is a pretty groovy-sounding place to be I guess. You can read more about the label at their website here, also have a peep at Das Volt's MySpace.

In other news: the new Yousef album 'A Collection Of Scars And Situations' isn't bad in a straight-up techno style, but has anyone else noticed how much 'Fun Whore' sounds like Bow Wow Wow? Which on a techno album surely takes some doing!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Zons of Zambesi - 'Zambesi'

I'd actually written a review of this for iDJ - which is actually credited to 'Christian Hornbostel presents Zons Of Zambesi' – but then realised it's already been out since mid-April so it's a bit late! Still, it had to get a mention somewhere, cos across five mixes it manages to variously combine Afro, deep, jazzy and prog/tribal vibes… and somehow NOT come out sounding a confused mess. Good effort! My money for dancefloor action would be on the Danny Massure Rumba Re-Rub, but the very musical album mix is pretty smart too. Coming from someone who's not normally known for a love of things Afro-y, that's praise indeed. 

About the label: it's on Xibaba Recordings, about whom I know don't know a lot except they're based in Germany and it's Hornbostel's own label. Any info anyone can supply would be welcome.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Jadell, and some good news

Okay the good news is had a very nice msg from Matthew Bandy AKA Deep House Souldiers this morning, saying he's down with the name of this blog (which is a DHS track) so it's staying. Hurrah. 
On wit da music then, got sent this three-track 'Break To The Beat' EP by Jadell, he of Jungle Brothers-associatedness fame… and what a ker-razy EP it is too. The title track is a full-on funk wigout inna James Brown/car chase kinda stylee... there's loads going on in this tune, dancefloor craziness guaranteed for all you eclectic jocks. Then you get 'Disaster Area', which is a more contemporary brand of funk - think the groovier bits of earlier Ninja Tune, with a definite dubstep influence in there too. And then finally there's 'Make It Happen' feat Mike Coleman, which is like an early 70s psychedelic west coast funk jam and well mellow, Daddio… 
making for a pretty boss EP all round. It's out at the end of May so keep an eye on their website (below)

About the label: Rocstar is run by one Lee Potter, better known as Cut La Roc. Their MySpace describes 'em as 'breakbeat/hip-hop/house' which I guess covers it. It's like big beat done gone got all growed up, would be another way of describing it...