Monday, 31 August 2009

Natalie Williams - Lil' Wiser video

Felt I should share this... having been championing Ms Williams' fantastic voice for quite a few years now it only behoves when she's got a new single out. I also feel I should point out that said championing has been entirely due to her singing, she's one of the best soul vocalists working out of the UK at the moment IMHO. This track's very poppy but you can still hear the rich timbre that makes her voice so incredible...

That said, there are a lot of things in life that, to be fair, are more difficult to look at than this... (click to see the video)

Here's what Natalie has to say about the record by the way: "The track is for girls who have finally come to realise who and what they are or have become. It's about letting go of trying to be something you're not and accepting yourself without dwelling on the past and mistakes you may have made. It's also about not feeling the pressure that so many girls and women get today from the media, but rising above it, being street-smart, knowing what you want and generally becoming older, wiser, trusting in your own abilities and becoming a more confident woman"

Oliver Moldan - Floating Bye

Coming from that deep/prog/tech crossover zone, Floating Bye comes in a range of mixes. Jon Rundell's is too tech-y for me but the Original and Lucca mixes do the deep prog thing pretty well, Lucca's being the far more mainroom-friendly of the two. However, it's all about the Martin Eyerer remix for me.

Eyerer has been on superb form with his own productions lately – I just reviewed the excellent Pianoroll (with Benno Blomme, on Great Stuff) and Southern Soul (with Glimpse, on Buzzin' Fly) for iDJ – and this remix sees him ploughing the same deep-as-you-like furrow, with an understated walking two-note bassline adding a dose of funkology to proceedings. Me like.

About the label: Don't know much about Sound Of Acapulco but here's their website

Adam Beyer - Something Good To Die For

Not normally a big fan of most techno, nor indeed of most of Mr Beyer's releases TBH, but with house and techno currently so close thanks to the deluge of post-minimal bizniss, I could imagine finding a place in a set for the three tracks featured here, which see AB going down a slightly groovier and more house-ified kinda route. I'm particularly liking Don't Forget The Joker – partly because of the wonky bass noises near the end, partly because of the Motorhead reference in the title. Oh yeah, and spot what sounds like a cheeky La Luna reference in She Wears A Thorn Crown, too…

About the label: This is on Mad Eye, which is an offshoot of Beyer's own Drumcode. Read all about Drumcode, Mad Eye and third label in the family Truesoul Records here.

Bang Bang - Love Insurance

This is on a new label outta Leeds, and having grown up in the Leeds/Bradford area, I'm only too happy to push new house talent from the land of the white rose*! That said, there's no need for regional nepotism cos this is ace anyway.

The original of Love Insurance has a touch of the disco-house about it on the Original and Hector Moralez mixes, then it gets taken (unsurprisingly) deeper by yer man Dermarkus Lewis on his three rubs – he turns in a Remix, Dub and Late Night Dub, of which the latter is my fave by far. Proper deep, yagetmi?

*That's unless Bang Bang turn out to be Leeds United fans… in which case this is shit. BC, BC, BCFC okay! LOL

About the label: As mentioned, this is on a new label outta Leeds called Baker Street. Here's their MySpace, so keep an eye out.

Shout out also to my man Ian at Kahua for sending, have a peep at the Kahua website when you get a sec, cos A) Ian's runnin' tings when it comes to pushing quality house in the UK right now and B) there's an online store where you can buy downloads and - gasp! - vinyl of the many Kahua-associated releases you'll read about on this blog and in the pages of iDJ.

Syndey & Klod Rights - Dancing With The Devil

Funny coincidence here cos I hadn't spoken to my man Sydney for several years... and then no sooner did he get in touch to tell me about his new label Tokyo Red (see below), than this collab' with the strangely-named Klod Rights on Seamless Black Label landed, too. It's clearly International Month of Sydney, or something.

Anyway yeah, more nice deep house on a techy kinda tip here, as you'd expect from both the artist and the label. Not much else to say but, y'know, it's good…

About the label: I've said it before and I'll say it again: dance while the record spins! No, not that. What I meant to say was, Seamless Black: very good label. The main Seamless label can get a bit commercial at times but Seamless Black is pretty much always on the money. Check also for the new Best Nights Ever compilation Beach Party. Find their website and all you could wish to know here.

DJ Dervish ft Jennifer Carbonell - Dance The Night Away

If you're not a UDD™, look away now... this is uplifting, peaktime vocal house with plenty of pia-pia-piano action that teeters right on the very brink of H** K**** cheese. To me it stays just about on the right side of the line but it's a close call.

There's also a remix from Reza, who had a load of stuff out on DTPM, Kidology, Nocturnal, Refunkt and others a few years back but seems to have gone a bit quiet of late. However, his mix is a bit too electro-fied for me so I'd stick to the World Of Colour and Kid Grooves rubs to be honest.

About the label: This comes atcha on Metrogroove, which is a little independent UK house label. And little independent UK house labels are one of my favourite things, so go visit their MySpace page whydon'tcha eh?

PS: UDD™? Unashamed Disco Dolly. Do keep up.

I Am The Woodstar - Linda Kasabian Talks

Don't know much about IATW except they used to be called I Am The Woodstar (Not The Monkey Star), which was an even better name, and also reminds me of Jimmy Saville's oldies show on Radio 1 back in the 80s when he used to give out points for remembering obscure shizzle in brackets.

Anyway, apparently – one quick Google later – it's two guys from Nottingham. And I guess I'd describe their sound as coming from the slightly more leftfield end of deep house. Anyway I like it. Here you get the title track, plus Bring Me Down, Friday Nights In and two mixes of Starter For 10, one of which uses a very famous vocal and the other of which is called 'Tribute To The Free Party Mix', which I guess gives away their East Midlands connections.

Spoddy/spooky point: Linda Kasabian was the member of the Manson Family whose testimony convicted them, and you can find the US TV documentary from which the eponymous sample is taken from here, if you've a mind to.

About the label: Like I said I'm no expert but here's their MySpace where they claim to also have a proper website though it doesn't seem to work right now...

Agent Matteo - Confidential EP

Right, been very remiss on this blog lately so gonna try and get a few things up today before facing a MOUNTAIN of downloads...

I have quite a bit to thank Matty Gillespie for – AKA Agent Matteo – cos it was him that introduced me to Deep Class, which has gone on to become one of my favourite labels of the moment. This three-tracker sees no let-up in the deep n' dreamy house quality on Cloud 9 and Confidential itself, plus there's a little bit of deep techno for ya in the shape of Detroit's Lost One. Full marks all round, then.

According to DC's Facebook page, this has been getting props from Garnier, Luke Solomon, Benji Candelario, Lawnchair Generals... and it's out now.

About the label: Like I said, Madrid-based Deep Class are totally doing it for me right now. Find them here (MySpace) and also check 'em out at where you can read more and buy their shizzle.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

G Thomas - Soul Chanter EP

Italy's DJ Sydney knows a thing or two about deep, techy house music, so the birth of his new label T0kyo Red is definitely a cause for celebration. This debut release is a three-track affair: Soul Chant in its Original Mix form will appeal to lovers of classic stripped-down Jersey garage and minimal/deep house alike with its relentless organ loop and chanted vox, Sydney himself delivers a Remix that's even deeper thanks to more restrained use of the percussion, and finally you've got Lost In The Jungle, which is an altogether glitchier, techier affair.

The Soul Chanter EP is out now.

About the label: As previously mentioned, Tokyo Red is a new label from DJ Sydney, he of Kebosh Records fame and an Italian/Slovenian correspondent for iDJ many years ago. The Soul Chanter EP is the label's first release, with Air Force One by Frank Caro & Frank Garcia to follow v. soon so watch this space! Oh yes, and here's the label's MySpace page.

Tune Brothers feat Tesz Milan - Finally 2009

Not going to say a lot about this one, partly cos I'm in a bit of a rush right now and partly cos there isn't a great deal to say. But yes, it's the Ce Ce Peniston classic getting a noughties commercial house makeover and no, it's not as bad as you might think. In fact as long as you check your brain/credometer at the door, you might find you really don't mind it. It's not THAT horribly cheesy and Ms Milan's tonsils, while obviously not Ce Ce's, do a passable impression.

Mainly I'm writing about it cos that Bart B-More version was SHITE, and this is better. So it deserves props for that alone. Mixes come from Boogie Pimps, Yo Maha Project, The Good Guys and (deep breath) Romain Curtis, Ceeryl & Philippe. The latter's and YMP's rubs are the least cheesy; the BP's and GG's can't seem to resist the temptation of stupid trance-y breakdowns.

About the label: Written about Housesession before. German. Quite cheesy but not horrendously so. More: That is all.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Various - Stealth Summer Sampler 1

This is out next week (August 17). It's a two-track affair, with Jason Chance's The Beginning on one side and Muzikjunki Vs Marco Den Held's Red Snapper on the other.

The latter track comes from that hazy hinterland between prog and minimal, and will do the job for those that play that kinda thing no doubt. I can't say it's setting my world on fire, but it does have a rather nice piano riff that comes in 2/3 of the way through. The Beginning, meanwhile, is a straight-up big room house affair which also features a prominent (and not dissimilar) piano riff.

All in all, two solid enough cuts that'll come in handy for working Ibiza jocks and such.

About the label: Stealth is of course Roger Sanchez's Dutch-based label. Check their recent Release Yourself 8 compilation for more White Isle-friendly house vibes.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Forensics - Exile

Normally Forensics' weirded-out, scary take on dubstep is a bit TOO weirded-out and scary for me, which makes Exile a very pleasant surprise, cos this is a truly beautiful piece of music. Imagine what Portishead might sound like if they had Sheila Chandra singing for them, and you're somewhere in the right ballpark. It's been getting support from both Bobby Friction and Pathaan, apparently, which if you're gonna do this kind of eastern-flavoured vibes I guess is as good a recommendation as you can get.

Exile is out now and comes backed by Not Alone (VIP), which is in a more typical Forensics vein: dark, cinematic and broody. It's not hugely my cup of tea, but I CAN at least see the point...

About the label: This is on Eight:FX, which used to be Aphex Recordings. Not being the world's biggest dubstep fan (I do like it, I just don't know much about it), I don't know a lot about them but apparently they've had releases from the likes of Virus Syndicate and Hatcha. And, oh look, here's a website and a MySpace so you can find out more.

Also check out Forensics mixes here or his MySpace here

OH AND - cos I've just had an email from Forensics - here's a link to the Exile video

Juan Atkins & Kimyon - Work For Money

Some 24 years on from 'No UFOs' and Mr Atkins from Detroit is still showing us the way, with this excellent slice of forward-thinking techno. The original comes on like a jazz/blues/gospel trio doing ghetto-tech, Dimitri Max does the dancefloor house/tech crossover thing to devastatingly groovy effect, Lars Behrenroth turns in an ultra-deep remix and then there are a couple of more out-there mixes from Alexi Delano and label boss Luis Baro.

Basically, there's something to suit a wide range of tastes here... if all techno was this good, then I'd be much more of a fan of techno than I am. This is techno that lives up to the music's original 'machine soul' manifesto and as such, shouldn't be ignored by anyone with any interest in soulful OR electronic music. It's ace, basically.

What with this and the excellent This Is What Happens from Underground Resistance hitting shelves recently, of course, you do wonder where Detroit's new school are. But methinks a forthcoming issue of Britain's BEST dance music magazine may just answer that question…

About the label: Luis Baro is a well-established promoter/DJ from Chicago, currently based in Brooklyn and, according to the hype sheet, his new label All About is, er, all about: "fusing the Chicago, Detroit and New York sound by collaborating with related artists and pushing the boundaries with subsequent releases". I'd say that's about bob-on what they've managed here so I for one shall be listening out for more! Oh yeah and here's Luis' MySpace as well

Monday, 10 August 2009

54 Music - The Truth About Kwango EP

What we have here is a four-tracker that will suit those who like their house deep and head-y. First up is The Truth by MidiDropMusic, which in its original form is straight-up late night dreamaway sofa bizniss; it then gets ruffed up a bit by Detroit's Kris Wadsworth (who garnered a Top Tune slot on iDJ's house pages a few months back with the excellent Mainline). An added "Detroit is alive and well" spoken vocal should help further this rub's dancefloor appeal.

Then you have Kwango by Sebastian Davidson. The original mix here is an ultra-deep number with a surprising amount of funk to its simple, repetitive groove. Things then get a little busier on the brilliantly titled Foolish Horse Zulu Remix, thanks to the addition of some African hand percussion and chanting.

All in all, it's worth checking out for those into the more cerebral end of house, and it's out now.

About the label: As the name suggests this is on 54 Music, which is a new label based in London. They have two sides, 54 Music Light and 54 Music Dark - this is a Light release – which they describe as "broken beat, deep house, nu-jazz" and "techno, tech house and minimal techno" respectively. All of which I've just learned from peeping their MySpace, where you can also hear the tracks for yourself.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

To Ricciardi feat Coldfinger - Night Flowers EP

To Ricciardi is a Brazilian DJ/producer who's been based in Lisbon since the early ’90s. The hype sheet lists a load of projects he's been involved in but I've never heard of them… anyway, Night Flowers is a pretty cool little tech-house mover in three mixes. Moribundo's mix is techier, Beckers' mix is housier (and apparently already licensed by Dave Seaman for his next Renaissance comp), while Scots disco boy Milton Jackson surprises with a mix that's got a strong scent of minimal about it. All three are decent floor fodder.

About the label: This is on Wolf Records, the new "tech-house/techno/minimal" offshoot of Portuguese label Flow (it says here). They've got a website but it doesn't seem to be working yet. Ah well. Maybe it will be by the time you read this. Who can say?

Dekoy - Colonel K

Sticking with the breaks-y bizniss for a minute (see also Silenta review, below), here we have what the press release is calling a 'tech funk' number. I guess that works as a description… I'd be more vague and put it in that currently quite fertile hinterland between house, breaks and electro… or you could call it 'warehouse' if you were in an iDJ kinda frame of mind. Or noughties big beat, if you were feeling particularly at home to Mr Cynical today.

Whatever you want to call it, it's got tons of energy, it's got in-your-face synth bass and, importantly, it's got Da Funk. Dekoy goes it alone on the A, but the flip is credited to Dekoy Vs Focuz, where a lot of the high-end squiggles get left out, making for what's basically a slightly more heads-down take on the same basic musical premise. Either will get booties shaking on dancefloors.

Jon Cooke and Rob Cullip, incidentally, is how Dekoy and Focuz are known to their mums, and from the biog I got sent, both seem to be reasonably new-ish, though Focuz is also part of Breakspoll-winning DJ crew Apply The Breaks ('Best breakthrough DJ', 2009). So good luck to 'em, keep the good shit like this coming lads.

About the label: This one's on Diverted Traffic, about whom I know diddly, so you'll have to hit up their MySpace to find out more.

Silenta – This Is My Time EP

Something a little bit different for TIWWD cos this is a three-track EP that I guess you'd file under 'funky breaks'. Er, mostly. The title track starts out with a vaguely ska-y feel, then in the middle in comes a brass section and a spoken Spanish vocal. It reminds me a bit of Stereo MCs, too. Rock The House is more your straight-up funky breaks, the kind of groovy number that makes you wish you were at a some crazy 60s wigout with rich chicks in two-tone minidresses and those ace haircuts that I don't know what they're called. And then Guruji is a more midtempo kind of affair that Lemon Jelly would be proud of.

All in all, this would slot in nicely somewhere between the less full-on side of breakbeat, and the current crop of 'new old' funk. Imagine The Killer Meters had just played, and the Plump DJs were gonna go on in a bit, and you had to DJ in-between. Say, at Big Chill on a sunny evening about 7pm. That's when you'd want to reach for this.

About the label: This is on Rocstar, a label whose A&R policy I can't fathom at all. They do a lot of nasty bang-y/electro-y business with rubbish shouty vocals… but then they also do stuff like this, or the totally ace Classic by Cut La Roc which I reviewed in the last iDJ (for the Warehouse pages). Go figure. Anyway, I think it's actually Cut La Roc's label, and here's their MySpace.