Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Various - Prime Cuts 3

So I get sent this album, and the email says its out 28 June, and I listen to it and think yeah, that's pretty cool. And I file it in the 'To Blog' folder, and more specifically in the 'W/C June 28' folder. I'm organised like that.

And then the week commencing 28 June rolls around, and I dig it out again and I look more closely at the PDF press release… and it says it was out in May. Go figure. Anyway, so apologies if you all fell off your dinosaurs grooving to this one or something. But it's still very good, even if it is potentially two months old!

It's a compilation from Beef Records, about whom more below, and it's packed full of quality house grooves - varied enough to hold the attention, but not so varied as to be all over the place, with the overall feeling being towards the techier end of the deep spectrum but still funk-driven… does that make any sense? It does to me.

Some of the names will be familiar – Shur-I-Kan, Ivan Weber, Shades Of Grey - but most won't. And a whole album of quality house/deep house from people you've never heard of… it doesn't really get much better than that, does it? Go seek.

Out: Your guess is as good as mine!

About: I'll confess to not being that aware of Australian label Beef Records before now, but on this evidence I shall certainly be paying more attention in future... how a label can be putting out deep house this good and get to a THIRD compilation before registering on my so-called professional radar, I don't know. I hang my head in shame.

Anyway, according to their website, Beef was "born in Prague, reared in Sydney". They've had 30-odd singles and three (!) label comps out, and describe themselves thus: "an independent electronic music label focusing on house music, tech house and deeper grooves". Which can never be a bad thing, surely?

Mark Broom - Scream

Some quality upbeat, energising tech-house here. Tech in that it's quite tuff and driving… house in that's it's got its essential funky-ass wiggle on fo' sho'!

The original mix is all cut-up disco loops and searing stabs – the Sneakster would be proud. The Go Back Mix, meanwhile is a little more heads-down and loopy, but I'd play either quite happily.

File under 'dope tracky shit', not much else to say really.

Out: This week

About: This is on Saved, which is of course Nic Fanciulli's label. I was worried for a while we were gonna lose Nic to the darkside (that's techno) but he seems to have rediscovered his love of house music of late, which is good to hear!

Trevor Vichas - Just In Love

This ties in quite well with the Bearfunk release below, cos it too has old school funk/soul leanings - albeit just a little bit in this case - and cos it too is on a label I've raved about lots. But then it's MY blog, innit?

Think your typical west coast house gone a tiny bit Prince (vocally, though said vocal is used qute restrainedly) and you've got the general idea here. There are five mixes in total but I'd suggest there's two that really matter: label bosses Short Bus Kids' rub for the dancefloor, and 3C's Very Deep Dub, which isn't actually THAT uber-deep or anything but WILL suit those late-night sessions with a sofa and a large, hand-rolled cigarette very nicely indeed, thank you.

Out: This week. Ooh, no, last week. Doh. Ah well.

About: This is on Bounce House, which is the SBKs' label as discussed. Website here.

King DJ - Attack Of The Killer Monks

Well, blow me ting is busy right now - hence slowness of blog updates and hence no TIWWD#2 show at the weekend. Still, busy = paying rent, so that's good. Can't neglect the blog entirely though, so first up this week is the latest from Bearfunk.

I get a bit confused cos Bearfunk, Tirk and Nang are all run out of the same office, and all follow a similar musical remit. Turns out though (I learned from a conversation this week) that it's only the same people who do all the mechanical/admin-type stuff, otherwise they're totally independent (and the same ppl also handle a load of trance labels and stuff, though they don't send me that!).

I'm only telling you all this cos I've been on a bit of a Nang splurge lately (oh yeah, and Nang have another compilation coming out in July as well, 'Beach Disco Sessions', which is rather good, in case I don't tell you about it again) so reviewing this might seem a bit favouritist/obsessive. But it's not cos Bearfunk is separate, y'see?

That said, in its Original form, this is absolutely archetypical of that Nang/Tirk/Bearfunk synth-disco sound! The Glimmers Black Hole Dub does however inject a little funk, dare I say blackness? and there's more of the same on b-side Clothes & Counters (both the orig and the Steve Kotey Remix).

Overall, then, quite an interesting cross, sitting somewhere between cold, synthy nu-disco and more organic funk. Me like.

Out: This week

About: I think if I explained any more about Bearfunk you'd thump me. So here's their website and let's leave it at that!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Afghan Headspin - Total Recall

Rocstar are labelling Total Recall "breaks/dubstep" but in the interests of not calling a spade a two-handed digging and earth-shifting solution, let's be honest – it really ain't nothin' but classic rave/hardcore, of an ilk that calls to mind Jonny L or Acen records from daze of yore.

Oh all right, the Schema and Eschericks remixes do both add some gnarly dubstep bottom end (satisfyingly in Schema's case; the Eschericks mix is a bit kiddy-clownstep for me). But for me it's the 1992-sounding Original with its chipmunk vox, rave stabs and sparse-sounding breakbeats all the way. Now, where's me whistle?

Out: Today, if the hype sheet is to believed. Who puts tracks out on a Sunday, though?

About: This is on Rocstar, always a label that's always worth checking on that tuffer, breaks-meets-house kinda tip. Rocstar is run by Lee 'Cut La Roc' Potter and you can find their MySpace here.

AeN - Hacienda EP

As this is Italian, I'm not sure whether the "hacienda" of the title refers to Manchester's most famous former yacht showroom, or just someone's very big house in the country… but still, if it's sleek, traditional-style house grooves you're after, this is a very solid bet.

The beats and disco-fied bassline on the Original of Hacienda remind me of early UK garage circa 1995, before Spin Spin Sugar and the whole speed garage thing… you could have played this, told me it came out on Nice N' Ripe or Confetti back in the day and I'd have easily believed you. Which is praise indeed, coming from me!

Remixes come from Manu L, Salvo Castelli and Fabiano Bion… all of whom make the track sound a little more contemporary, though to me it loses some of its old skool charm in the process. Never mind though, cos on bonus track Twin Twice it's back to that late 90s vibe once more, this time with a walking disco bassline and jazzy keys providing a no-nonsense midtempo shaker for the floor.

Out: This week

About: This is the latest from fledgling Italian label Blackrose - their fifth release, in fact. Here's what they have to say about themselves on their MySpace:

The Turin label BlackRose Records was founded in early 2009 by the DJ/Producer Alessandro Verros with his music partner, the DJ/Producer Stefano Genta. BlackRose is a label "new house sounds" a combination of deep, minimal and house. The project aims to bring out a new scenario, fresh and original, carried on by artists who work around the underground world scene.

Cristian Viviano & Antonio Castello - Enlightening EP

Some straight-up house floor fodder for ya here, courtesy of Italian twosome Cristian Viviano and Antonio Castello.

There are seven tracks in total: three mixes of We're Indigo, plus two each of Mocas and We Zoo You. I'm not gonna go into every mix, sorry, cos a) I've got some real work to do today and b) there's a football match at 3pm I wouldn't mind watching. But overall the vibe's somewhere between deep and prog, with plenty of energy and a little hint of Latin flava: for deep dancefloor satisfaction, may I suggest the original mix of Mocas, or for something with a slightly lazier groove and a hint of nu-disco, check the System Of Survival Fat & Slow Rework of We're Indigo.

Out: This week

About: This is on Climatic Sound, a new-ish label based in sunny Ibiza. Find 'em on MySpace.

Jahcoozi - Barefoot Wanderer Remixes Pt 2

Okay, so I've already raved about the album Barefoot Wanderer in the pages of iDJ, and about the first Barefoot Wanderer Remixes EP on here… but when album standout Barefoot Dub gets a remix from dubstep don Ramadanman I could hardly ignore it…

There's also a more leftfield-type mix from Viennese downtempo bloke Stereotyp, plus a clubbed-up remix of Read The Books from Ikonika, but Ramadanman's mix is the real story here. Think Protection-era Massive Attack, but bang up-to-date: crucial stuff.

Out: This week

About: This is on Bpitch Control, website here.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Passionardor - Legacies & Visions EP

Right, well I'll confess to a degree of bias here cos I've known Mark Moore (AKA Passionardor, and no, not the one out of S-Express) for years… he used to write for iDJ and we used to be quite good buddies for a while, though we've not actually spoken for several years now.

’Course that puts you in the awkward position, what if your mate sends you his track…and it's shit? That has happened in the past, believe! Thankfully not in this instance though, as Mr Moore delivers five sterling house cuts. Disco's Revenge isn't a new take on Gusto's Harvey Mason-sampling track of the same name, instead sampling, er, some other disco nugget I can't place right this second, but am sure I own somewhere; Rootz has more of an organic, live-instrument kinda feel and jazzy leanings; In The Thick of it flirts with both nu-disco and jazz-funk (and is probably my pick of the EP), and finally there are more disco-inspired doingz on In The Loop and Hypnotizing.

All told, a very worthwhile package indeed. Phew! Oh yeah, and it's got a horse playing the trumpet on the cover as well. Which is something there frankly isn't enough of.

Out: This week

About: This is on Italian label Gotta Keep Faith, who I don't think have featured on this blog before but who can be found online here.

Rainer Weichold - I Want You

Fairly typical Berlin house grooves here, but lovers of the chuggy, dark room vibe will be more than happy. And that does include me BTW, I'm not trying to damn it with faint praise or anything!

Remixes (three in addition to the original) come from a bunch of currently hot names, too – Lutzenkirchen, Oliver Ton and M.in & Patrick Lindsey. Of the mixes, M&PL's is the most stripped-down and minimal, while the Original has probably the most dancefloor bounce, and hence would be my pick. The other two sit somewhere in-between, and none of 'em are to be sniffed at.

Out: This week

About: This is on Kling Klong, who can generally be relied on to deliver the goods. Here's the obligatory MySpace link, then.

Justin Michael & Dave Mayer - Lost In The Music

Featuring one Maiya on vocals, this is the latest from the mighty Salted. Migs' label seems to be going through a bit of a script-flipping phase at the moment, and Lost In The Music continues the trend, being a somewhat more big room/White Isle affair compared to the usual San Fran underground vibes. It's still a good record though, with a nice balance between the dark, techy beats, the almost electrohouse-style synths and the traditional soulful vocal.

Well, that's the Original Mix, anyway – but then there are a further six remixes to consider. And thankfully, these eschew the opportunity to go all-out commercial, instead taking various paths to a place marked 'quite a bit deeper'. Those in search of that quintessential Salted vibe will probably be best served by the Christian Alvarez Saxophonic Freak Dub, there's a hint of old skool Chi-town to the Nightrhymes Remix, but if pushed I'd go for the Funky Soldiers Dub, which does that wonky, pad-y, 4am dancefloor thang.

The remixes are pretty much all better than the original, but with seven mixes in total this is a solid bet.

Out: This week

About: Salted need no introduction but here's their website anyway.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Sunner Soul feat Sergey Silvertone - In My Head EP

More deep house goodness from Russia, courtesy of Vintage Music Records.

Sunner Soul (real name Alexander Chebankov) first came to my attention with The Circles on Acryl Music last summer: "on this evidence, one to watch" I said in iDJ at the time. Here he teams up with one Sergey Silvertone (real name: probably not Silvertone) and I'm watching. Or rather listening. You know what I mean.

And yeah, the In My Head EP ('EP' is pushing it a bit, given that it's just two tracks, but never mind) doesn't disappoint. True, it doesn't really do much that's particularly groundbreaking but then how many deep house records do, if we're being honest? In My Head is one of those drifty-and-dreamy-but-still-dancefloor cuts that, at 4am in a proper deep house club, will briefly be The Best Record You Ever Heard. Perfect Race is a slightly more accessible track with a distinctly Ibiza-esque vibe; it's perfectly fine (and not cheesy, don't worry), but In My Head is the one… expect to hear it on the next radio show. Unless I forget, of course. Which, to be fair, DOES happen.

Out: 26 June

About: This is on Vintage Music Records out of Russia, as I think I said. I think it's Chebankov's own label, and this is their fourth release to date. Not sure I've heard 'em all but I was definitely impressed by Suel's Drifting which was their last one – that came out in late April and it was ace, sadly there was some confusion over release dates at the time which meant it missed out on a review either here OR in iDJ! So once more with feeling: Vintage Music Records are "on this evidence, one to watch" :-) Here's their MySpace.

Grant Dell - House Tribute EP

Well, it's been a funny old day. Frank Sidebottom died, which was bad. But a few people have been listening to the radio show thingummy, which is good… and I seem to have acquired Slam as followers, which I'm obviously quite chuffed about! Anyway best keep that ball rolling, so on with this week's dose of inane house music-related banter.

First up, this EP from Grant Dell which features the title track, plus Kozak and two mixes of Don't Need Ya. As you'd expect from Croydon scene stalwart Dell, dark, driving tech-house is the order of the day generally, though House Tribute itself is a touch lighter with a slight Sneak/disco kinda feel around the edges. The Angel Alanis rub of Don't Need Ya is also a bit more on the house than the tech side so don't worry disco dollies, there's nothing to be frightened of here!

Out: Today

About: Grant Dell's been around for years but hit up his Discogs entry for more info if ya need! This meanwhile is on Boston, USA-based label Headtunes, who themselves keep a rather natty and goodies-packed blog and who can also be found on MySpace. Here's the hype sheet blurb about 'em:

Since 2005 Headtunes have released music by respected underground producers including Audio Soul Project, Pete Dafeet, Dexter, Sleazy McQueen, Dexter and Jay West alongside up and coming talents such as Brenden Wesley, Markus Mehta, Matt Prehn and Bass Experiment. Their diverse sound covers everything from nu disco through house and techno.

Frank Sidebottom RIP

Oh no! Chris Sievey AKA Frank Sidebottom is dead, which will come as very sad news to those of us in England who were kids or teenagers in the 80s... some of us older folk remember that Sievey was also (pre-Frank) lead singer of The Freshies.

Click here to see one of Frank's earliest TV appearances on (UK regional news show) Granada Reports, complete with presenter the late, great Anthony H Wilson. All the Manc legends are dying… :-(

On a more personal note: some 2.5 whole decades ago, me and my best mate Duncan used to do a fanzine and sent some questions off to Frank Sidebottom by post; he duly sent back answers and we ran the interview. We were 15, he was in the charts, how exciting was that? Here's the joke he told us:

What's red and invisible?
No tomatoes.

Gawd bless his soul, and RIP.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

It's finally here… TIWWD on Mixcloud!

Well, there's been no end of technical hitches to sort out and things are by no means perfect yet but never mind… the good news is the much-talked-about (ie, by me, as opposed to actually getting round to do it) This Is Why We Dance radio show is now online at Mixcloud.

For those not registered with Mixcloud yet, it's kind of like a Soundcloud for radio, with social network-style features built-in. It's good. Obviously now I'm on it things will start to go downhill rapidly, but for now Mixcloud rocks.

Hope to get another show up within the week…

Not sure when these three are out…

…but thought I'd give you the heads-up anyway.

L.E.O – Jazz Hand Boogie EP (F*** House Records)
Actually, I had this down as 'no release date' but looking more closely, it seems it's actually been out since 29 May, shock horror, which makes it practically a golden oldie in house terms these days. Never mind though, cos both tracks – The Boogie and That Jazz – are excellent slices of rollicking jazz/swing-fuelled house, deep but with a smile on their faces.

Mindlo & Essential I - Deep Thoughts Remixed (Next Dimension Music)
No fewer than seven mixes of this quality slab of Afro-tinged deepness from US label Next Dimension Music, so deeper jocks should find something to play. Here's the label website if you want to find out more.

Oh yeah, and those remixes come from Kat La Kat, Maji, DJ Tessen, Iva & Small and Spinnersensation and no, I've not heard of any of those names either but maybe this is one of those "pushing new talent" kinda things...

Silky & Vandermeer - Kundalini EP (Uberbeat)
Can't say I know a huge amount about UK label Uberbeat, but if all their stuff's gonna be this good I shall pay more attention. The six tracks here (three mixes of Paranoid, two of Vuelta and finally Application Of Interest) all tread a deep ’n' techy house path, with one of those spoken poetic vocals on Paranoid that for once doesn't grate. Do check this one – right now you can HEAR IT at the Uberbeat MySpace.

Audrey Mute & Jellyfish - Trouble In The Attic

This is quite a bit harder and more in-your-face than would normally find its way onto TIWWD, but I promised 'em a review ages ago… and it's actually all right as this kind of instantly accessible noise goes, the kind of thing you probably wouldn't (all right, I probably wouldn't) listen to at home, but might jump up and down to in field in a festival-type situation, or something.

Big brash electro-house-breakbeat is the order of the day, with just the one mix of Trouble In The Attic and one of B-side 3D Metric keeping things nice and simple. 3D Metric is the slightly groovier and housier of the two, so would be my pick…

Out: This week

About: Audrey Mute & Jellyfish are Russian, apparently, and this is on Broken Robot Records, which is a great name - I've got a house full of broken robots. Anyway if you visit the Broken Robot website you can HEAR THESE TRACKS and also download a free AM&J DJ mix, if you've a mind to…

Free deep house mix from City Soul Project

Okay people hold tight… the TIWWD podcast/radio-type thingy ALMOST THERE NOW...

I'll also get around to reviewing some tracks again very shortly. In the meantime, here's a free deep house mix from City Soul Project for you to be going on with – DOWNLOAD IT HERE

Oh and here's the tracklist…

City Soul Project 'Deep House Mix June 2010' - Tracklisting

001 Greg Stainer - On UR Feet (Original Mix) - Open Bar Music
002 Bobby & Klein - Pigeon Hole (Original Mix) - Kolour Recordings
003 City Soul Project - The Deep Side (DJ Garces & Javi Colours Remix) - SP Recordings
004 Coco Silco - My Deep Groove (Original Mix) - Endemic Digital
005 Moritz Kiske - Real One (Roberto Rodriguez Stamping The Ground Remix) - Opossum Records
006 Mendo - Madrugada (Original Mix) - Cecille Records
007 Tom Sawyer - Warm Velvet (Mouj & Lively Remix) - Endemic Digital
008 Evren Ulusoy & Sezer - Naturally Artistic (Original Mix) - Saveroom Recordings
009 Pretty Criminals - Cold Outside The Box (Lunancy Sound Division Remix) - Endemic Digital
010 Conan Liquid - Toru Fugu (Original Mix) - CDR

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Sofa Attitude - From Ibiza To Paris EP

Well, here's another exciting development in This Is Why We Danceland, in that this was sent in by someone who actually reads the blog regularly. To be exact, Yann Lebreuilly, AKA one-half of Sofa Attitude.

Yann told me in his mail:

I've been producing sounds since 4 years... releases with my "Sofa Attitude" and never thought that sending you something could have been interesting for you. With my new release I think it could be.

Well, I can see his point – listening to the first From Paris To Ibiza EP, which came out last summer, and the album Urban Love, which I believe came before that, a lot of it's been a bit too downtempo/chill-out for me to be honest. But this EP is different, it's still very mellow but in a housier kinda way: think sunsets at Mambo, loungin' round a Rimini poolside, that kinda thing.

Although the EP's called From Paris To Ibiza 2 there's actually just one track, in three mixes, called Natural Breath. The original is more downtempo, the main mix more housified, and the the Flute Mix, well, you shouldn't need me to explain that one really. All told, it's perfect for some summer chillin', so big thanks to Yann for sending! And do check the previous releases as well if you do dig your downtempo vibes…

Out: Now (or v.soon, anyway)

About: This is on Believe Records, but as I'm assuming that's NOT the Believe Records who are a rock/punk label based in Thailand! That's the only Believe Records I can find online though so I'm hoping Yann himself might post a comment and shed some light... and then we'll see if he really does read the blog! (mwah-ha-ha evil laugh) :-)

Jens De Langer Vs VMH - Arcturian Armitrage

Regular readers (and I know from recent conversations there are at least two of you!) will know TIWWD has become a bit of a fan of Dutch label 90watts. Well, this is the new single from label manager Jens De Langer and 90watts owner Jeroen Van Meeteren… which Jens kindly sent me ages ago but which is just out now.

In its original form, Arcturian Armitrage is an upbeat, rolling and very slightly techified deep houser with some Eastern flourishes (think snake charmers n' souks n' that). The Arjuna Schiks Remix strips it down and techs it up a notch (or rather a notch each… it doesn't strip it down 15 notches and then tech it up just one, is what I mean). Optick & Ciprian Lemnaru then take us into more straight-up deep house territory before VMH takes the track on a looped-out ride that sits somewhere between Berlin and Chicago.

Again, all the mixes are cool but Optick & Lemnaru's would be my pick, with VMH's a close second.

Out: This week

About: Think I've explained everything, haven't I? But here's the 90watts website, and as this is from Holland I suppose I could try and say something witty and topical like, "Just don't all dance to it wearing matching orange mini-dresses or you'll get thrown out". Unfortunately, I can't think of anything. Sorry.

Clemens Rumpf & David A Tobin - Ain't Nothing But House Music

Well, talk about doing what you say on tins. This is a full-length album from this duo, it's labelled on the front "A journey into soulful, disco and funky house vibes" which pretty much tells you anything I could've, and almost every track is a lyrical (usually spoken) homage to… yeah, you guessed it.

You could accuse it of being a one-trick-pony of an album, sure… unless you're like me and can't get enough of tracks like this, in which case it's something of a treat. Even for me it does get a bit wearing when consumed as a whole, but I'm not sure that's really the point: it's just a set of good club tracks (for the RIGHT clubs, obviously), and there's nowt wrong with that. The self-explanatory Jazz In The House is a killer, for a start.

It's good to know there are other folks out there who still BELIEVE, innit?

Out: This week

About: This comes atcha on Reelgroove, who as I've pointed out before do a sterling job of keeping the trad vocal flag flying so more power to 'em - website here.

City Soul Project - Are You Hip?

This latest from City Soul Project sees them once more serving up no-nonsense, classic-style house "for those that remember", shall we say.

Are You Hip? in its original form features some nice Jersey-style sounds, rolling beats and a male voice asking the titular question – and, pleasingly, not every 12 bloody seconds, either! Me like. The Funky Buddah Mix adds phat b-line and shakers for a more west coast kinda feel, while the Mi Casa Mix is a slightly more rollicking take with sub-aquatic sounds and a parping sax line – one for those seriously locked-on 4am kinda moments in the deep clubs.

To be honest, I'd happily play any and all of the mixes, but if pushed I'd say the original is my fave.

Out: Today!

About: City Soul Project are… well, I do know but I'm not supposed to tell you. More importantly, this is no less revered an imprint than I! Records - proof of just how much notice these boys are getting after just a handful of releases. Long my it continue, in the meantime here's the i! Records website, and here's the City Soul Project Mixcloud page, where you'll notice that they seem to have dropped the 'mystery men' thing and ARE actually telling people who they are now. Not sure what happened there then.

Anyway SPEAKING of Mixcloud, I've spent the past couple of days getting this legendary TIWWD radio/podcast-thingy together, or rather starting to. Currently having some minor technical setbacks, but all being well, the first show should be up THIS WEEKEND – how exciting!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Rudy's Midnight Machine - Open To Your Love

I ask you: how can you NOT love a record by anyone called 'Rudy's Midnight Machine'? If I saw a record by 'Rudy's Midnight Machine' and it was a white label with nothing else written on it, I'd buy it on the strength of the name alone. Well, I would assuming it was, like, £2 in Oxfam and not £500 or something. I probably wouldn't have that much cash on me, for starters.

Thankfully in this instance, my £2 would have been well spent… but then again as this is the latest offering from the Faze Action camp, what the hell did you expect? The eponymous Rudy is actually Faze Action's own Robin Lee in solo mode, and the four tracks on this EP - vocal and dub takes on Open To Your Love itself, plus bonus cuts Dib Dab and Street Museum - tread a fine line between epic disco, 80s boogie and vintage Balearic house. The synth bassline on Dib Dab will be of particular interest for lovers of that boogie/proto-garage sound à la Easy Street et al.

Class in the proverbial glass. Don't miss it.

Out: This week

About: As stated this is the latest from the brothers Lee's own label, Faze Action Records. They don't seem to have bothered with a label website so much, so here's the Faze Action MySpace instead.

Giano - Stella In The Starlight

Okay, here's one that WILL suit the Unashamed Disco Dollies™ – in its Original Mix form, this is about as cheesy as TIWWD cares to get. BUT while it is quite cheesola, it's still much closer to, say, Joey Negro than it is to something really horrible like, say, Lady… and it's got some wicked parping sax and some equally ace tinkling ivories and scat vox. So yeah, a bit of a guilty pleasure but I like it. So nyer.

For more earnest types, there's also a Dave Allison mix which is on a slo-mo deep house tip – it sounds a bit like the original, played at -8 and minus the vox – and a Sleazy McQueen Space Coast Dub, wherein Mr McQ takes us on a journey into nu-disco pastures. So there's something to suit quite a range of jocks, really.

Out: This week

About: This is on Alphabet, a Washington DC/Chicago-based label who are apparently some 13 releases deep but who haven't until now done much promo… as far as I can see they've currently got a website with nothing on it but you can HEAR/BUY their shizzle at Traxsource so all is not lost!

Lost My Dog DJ competition

Leading UK deep house label Lost My Dog has a 'five years best of' compilation coming up in July, as I may or may not have mentioned on here... anyway, to celebrate this 'one half of a whole decade' milestone they're running a DJ competition with Juno.

Full details HERE, but in a nutshell, send 'em a good DJ mix of Lost My Dog trax and you can win a bunch of LMD goodies like a t-shirt, some vinyl and a copy of the album, plus £50 of Juno vouchers, which can't be bad... good luck anyone who decides to have a go!

Oscar Sala & Fran Alberola - Hotel EP

I do like it when Factoria do the house thing… this is actually on Formula Recs Digital, but as the web address is given as Factomania I'm guessing it's some kind of Factoria offshoot.

Anyway, the real point is that lead track Hou Room is a top-quality deep house groover with just a touch of soul around the edges, and as such should appeal to a variety of floors. Remixes of Hou Room come from Zumar (a little bit skippier with some nice jazz keyboard flourishes) and Rene Sandoval (a bit more heads down and pumping), while bonus cut Sweet Room, another jazz-tinged deep houser with a nice shuffle to the beats.

Quality bizniss all round, show some love people.

Out: Since yesterday (14 June)

About: As stated above this is in some nebulous, undefined way related to Wally Lopez's Factoria Records stable, who do a wicked line in house music when they can tear themselves away from the techy/tribal shenanigans. Here's their webshop where you can HEAR/BUY this.

Hagenaar & Haggstrom – Wak Ass (Remixes)

Remember that big, hip-housey Wak Ass track from a couple of years ago? Well, it's back, with a new mix from Danish house chap Kid Massive.

Not gonna go on cos you probably know the tune, just thought you'd like to know. The new mix comes bundled with the Shapeshifters edit, plus a Hagenaar & Haggstrom of Out Of Office's Insatiable, which is okay, in that typical H&H big room, pumping, Euro-electro-y kinda way.

Out: Now-ish, I believe.

About: This is on the Shapeshifters' own label Nocturnal Groove. Here's their website.

Federico Grazzini - Question

For the first 60 seconds, this sounds like it's gonna be yet another plodding Berlin-style chugger, danceable enough but instantly forgettable… but then, after a big ravey swoop, in come a fat, walking bassline and the Fuk Dat-ish "question!" vocal stabs, and we're looking at something just a little bit housier, and far more satisfying. The Mass Prod Remix on the flip, meanwhile, starts with party/crowd noise and then takes a trip into slightly more epic territories, with its minimal heart worn a little more proudly on its sleeve.

All told, Question won't set your dancefloor on fire, maybe, but it will keep ’em moving for sure.

Out: Thursday (17 June)

About: This is the fifth release on Room 9 records, an Italian imprint run by one Andrea Appolloni. I note from their MySpace they're currently actively seeking demos, which may be of interest to budding producer types.

Federico Grazzini, meanwhile, is resident at Zoo Project in Ibiza, has worked with Alex Neri and Arnaud Le Texier, and had stuff out on SCI+TEC (a label that's much respected even if most of their stuff leaves me cold) so he's hardly a newbie.

Carl Handbig - Deepah

Okay, enough of all that open-minded shiznit… now let's get back the proper house music goodness shall we?

First up for this week then, this absolute belter from Carl Handbig, who's a new name to me but who's apparently from Barcelona. Deepah couldn't be more aptly named, it's ultra-deep but still dancefloor, which is no mean feat. It's fat and and it's funky as fuck, while being as far from 'funky house' as Tokyo is from East Grinstead. Just FEEL that bassline, it'll do funny things to your tummy. Me like, lots.

There's a remix from fellow Spaniard Baldo, too, but while his remix is okay, its Berlin-ish, neo-prog overtones can't compete with the arse-shakin' bottom end of the original. Deepah also comes accompanied by Shine NY Tribute, again in two mixes. The original is a more sedate deep houser, eschewing fat, funky b-lines in favour of a more late-night Chicago/Detroit kinda vibe, while the Alex Flatner Remix adds some Syndrum/909-sounding percussion and disco stabs for more of a jackin' dancefloor take. Both rubs are perfectly playable (tho' in different times and different places), but Deepah is the one.

Out: This week

About: This comes atcha on Clock Records, a new label (this is Clock0002) based, like Handbig himself, in sunny Barcelona. Here's Clock's MySpace, where you can HEAR THESE TRACKS, and here's Handbig's own MySpace too.

Various artists - Safe Mode

Are you down with the 111? If you are, you probably need this album, in fact you probably have it already. If you don't know that I'm talking about, read on…

The '111 movement', as far as I can see, is a bid by (mostly) dubstep producers to get away from the blind-alley monotony of endless gnarly, in-your-face basslines and to produce music with a little more artistic/intellectual substance. The only constraint is that everything is at 111bpm. Google it and it appears this is all very arty and cerebral, dahling.

Six of the 12 tracks here - from A Bridge Far Away, Two Oh One, Dusk Ensemble and others - are proudly flying the 111 flag. I'm reminded a bit of the loathsomely self-congratulatory IDM era and also of the almost-forgotten '90bpm movement' way back in the day (ha! I really AM old!) but on the plus side, it's further evidence that dance/electronic music, unlike the tired cliches of rock n' roll, hasn't yet exhausted all the possibilities for reinventing itself. I can also hear some crossover with the more esoteric side of nu-disco and slo-mo house. So shall watch with interest what happens next.

That said, even if you don't buy the 111 thing, there's also plenty of other goodness here, in the form of dubstep from Forensics, Alien Pimp and others, plus a corking slab of dubstep-meets-liquid D&B in Wrexile's Soul Comfort, so generally speaking this album's well worth checking if your tastes tend towards the envelope-pushing. One for the UDD™s, though, it ain't.

Out: Last week, but that's their fault for writing the date the American way, so I thought it was out 6 July when it was actually out 7 June.

About: Safe Mode is on Methodology, a UK label whose MySpace describes them as specialising in 'ambient/downtempo/other'. But don't let that put you off.

Free jazz!

Not as in 'tedious never-ending improv' but as in 'I just found a website where you can download really cool jazz MP3s for free'.

I came across this while researching an internet music feature for another magazine that shall remain nameless. It's all perfectly legal, they sell jazz CDs and put up 10 MP3s a week as a promo tool. As I type this iTunes has just rolled onto a live recording of Grover Washington's Sassy Stew which is just fantastic, frankly.

Bit off-topic for TIWWD possibly but if you're like me and you dig a bit of jazz, daddio as well as your repetitive beats, head over to JazzPromo.com and enjoy!

Tim 'Lo-Fi' Stoakes - Strange Days

Strange days indeed as Tim 'Lo-Fi' actually manages to find a new and inventive use for Chic's Good Times

Sounds unlikely, I know, but wait till you've heard that famous vocal loop stuttered and echoed over a simple Chi-town house riff… this SO shouldn't work, but remarkably, it does. It's like a flash back in time to 1988 and it works, I think you'll find, perfectly.

Strange Days is accompanied by Strange Ways (Larry's A Little Bit Crazy Mix), which is an epic nu-disco workout based on a phat arse slo-mo b-line and a sample of some guy talking about Larry Levan… again, it's a simple idea, but devastatingly effective.

Out: A whole week ago, sorry. Just catching up on a couple of things here…

About: This is, as no-one will be surprised to learn, on the Star-Fi Recordings label which Tim co-owns with Steven 'I Am The Woodstar' Wood. Always checkable, website here, MySpace here.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Harry Choo Choo Romero - Phuture

The Subliminal stalwart makes a surprise appearance on Ovum with a slab of driving house that's just a little bit tech-tinged around the edges.

With a spoken female vocal about seeing into the, er, future, Phuture is house-y enough to appeal to the traditionalists, but with just enough of an edge to it to appeal to younger, Berlin-obsessed crowds as well. It's accompanied by a Dub from Romero himself, which is a slightly druggier take, and – best of all – by a Joris Voorn Remix. Voorn's mix retains the drive and dancefloor energy, yet is nonetheless that little bit deeper and groovier. Listen carefully and there's a cheeky little acid squelch to it, too.

To be quite honest, it's been some time since I paid much attention to an HCCR release, but Harry's a nice guy so I'm pleased to report that this is his best in YEARS, and you really should check it for yourself. It's a proper dancefloor mover and no mistake, guv'nor.

Out: This week

About: Both Harry Choo Choo and Josh Wink's Ovum imprint have been 'big in the game' for years so I shan't bang on, but it is worth noting that this release forms part of the label's 15 year anniversary celebrations - good effort! Here's their website – if you're VERY quick, you might just catch the end of their '20% off' sale...

Friday, 11 June 2010

Sare Havlicek - Dreams In Light

I just can't get enough of this record.

Which is odd, in a way. Because I've been known to grumble – frequently, at length, and occasionally in print – about nu-disco's obsession with all things 80s, Italo and synth-tastic, me being more of your 70s kinda disco dolly. And this couldn't really BE much more 80s. In this case, though, it's the vocal that carries it, which is a sheer Bee Gees-via-Scissor Sisters delight… except it's actually a woman by the name of Hannah Mancini, not a bloke singing falsetto. But you'd never guess*.

It's just great, in either the original or dub forms… and then you get two Ray Mang remixes as well! What more could you ask for?

Out: This week

About: This is the the trailer single for the album Toscana Nights, but that's not out till next month so I'm keeping tight-lipped about that for now... in the meantime to HEAR THIS TRACK, visit Sare's MySpace. Or just go buy it here.

*Actually that's a bit harsh, and rather unflattering to Ms Mancini! What I should say is you'd never guess from listening to the chorus - which is all there is on the Dub, and I was listening to the Dub when I wrote it. Sorry Hannah!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Deporto - Astra Glide EP

Anyone up for some nice chunky deep house music with a decided disco influence (but in a non-cheesy way)? Yeah, thought so. Well, head for this EP from Deporto then, AKA London twosome Michael Braybrook and James Shipwright. With three mixes of the title track plus three of Musiq Electronique you're bound find something to play…

Sorry this review's a bit abrupt but between reviewing albums for iDJ, preparing stupid jingles for the soon-come MixCloud show I keep promising and doing research for another project I've got on, I'm a bit pushed right now… this is good though.

Out: Saturday (June 12)

About: This is on UK label F*** House Records. That's their asterisks, not mine. I'm not really sure what the point of calling your label that is – were we supposed to be shocked, or something? – but you could always visit their website and ask 'em I guess.

Wasabi - Musik

I almost didn't get the chance to review this cos the promo wouldn't DL for ages... then when I finally did manage to get hold of it, I COULD have gone into a massive sulk cos the label just wouldn't have it that the thing wasn't working… yes I know what Alt-clicking does, thanks, it just doesn't ruddy well WORK, does it? Several increasingly patronising emails later I was about ready to do some serious toy-depramming...

BUT Musik was too good to ignore, so here it is, and what a fine piece of jazz-inspired deep house groovery it is. True, it doesn't do a lot in its original form, consisting of just tinkling ivories and a looped "music!" vocal over some shufflesome beats, but what it does, it does very well. Portugal's Fred Vision provides a remix that adds a little atmos and some nice vibes, while the Bastard Boys chuck in a bunch of added FX. All three mixes are more DJ tools rather than peaktime stompers in their own right – but then we all need a few of those handy…

Out: Since Monday (June 6)

About: This is on Erase Records, who are based in Thessaloniki and London, apparently… find 'em on MySpace here.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Kid Massive & Jolly – Pride (A Deeper Love)

Thought we'd start the week with this cos it seems quite lyrically apt for a Monday – getting up out of bed and putting on your clothes cos you've got bills to pay, and all that.

Yes, it's the C&C Music Factory classic reworked in a 2010 style by Dane-in-London, AudioDamage Records boss and Kinky Malinki resident Kid Massive, along with Hungarian newcomer Jolly, and with vocals provided by Elliotte Williams N Dure, another new name to me. And yeah, I know what you're thinking… but this actually isn't bad. I still prefer the original but that's cos I prefer the sound of classic house to today's big room house sound – and this is definitely aimed at the big rooms – but compared to many covers that have been butchered classics (there was a particularly shocking version of Sound Of Eden that it still upsets me to just think about) this is okay, and of course the song itself is still as inspiring as always (assuming you're one of those that listens to words, that is).

Mix-wise you're looking at an Original and a John Dahlbäck Remix, plus a radio edit and an acapella. Unless you're gonna get creative with the latter though, I'd stick to the Original cos Dahlbäck's gone a bit trancey-pants on his rub. Well, all right, more just kind of big room electro than trance, but, y'know, big stupid noises for kids. And we don't want those, do we? The Original is more respectful to the, er, original.

Out: Today

About: Think we've covered most of the ground but this is on Caballero Records, so here's their MySpace and their actual proper website. Oh yeah and you can HEAR THIS easily enough on YouTube if you look but I'm not sure they want you to so I won't link to it. You don't want to go around upsetting people on a Monday.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

This week's other best releases

Well, as ever I had high hopes this week but haven't blogged half the things I planned to... however I've also just finished my iDJ reviews for the July issue, which means I've reviewed some 27 records today and am a bit running out of words with which to talk about house records.

All these, though, are out now (and have been for a minimum of one day, or a maximum of six), and are all more than worthy of your attention:

Fog - Dubnraw EP (Save Room)
Hear it: label MySpace

Freestyle Man - As The Morning Comes (Wazi Wazi)
Link: Sasse AKA Freestyle Man's MySpace

Kruse & Nuernberg – Sliced & Chopped (Lazy Days Recordings)
Link: label MySpace

Kruse & Nuernberg/Paolo Olate - Action Series Vol 2 EP (Galaktika Records)
Link: label website

Lutzenkirchen – Just Thursday EP (Incorrect Music)
Link: label website

Nic Fanciulli - Caller ID EP (Bitten)
Link: Nic's MySpace

Well, sorry I can't wax a bit more lyrical but tracking that lot down should keep you going for a bit…

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Matt Masters - On Course

I nearly wasn't going to blog this, because On Course itself and bonus cut The Start Of Nothing, while perfectly acceptable and pleasant enough, don't really stand out hugely from the current deluge of deep, techy house.

But then along comes the Soul Minority Remix of On Course, which is still in that deep, techy vein but adds a female vocal… and that makes all the difference. Suddenly, with the crisp beats, Balearic piano keys and dreamy vocal, we're in classic A Man Called Adam territory. And that's a good place to be.

Out: This week

About: Matt Masters works for Freerange, but this actually comes atcha on Nightbird Music, a new-ish (this is their eighth release) based in Groningen in the Netherlands. You can HEAR THESE TRACKS and find out more about Nightbird by visiting their MySpace.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Mark Henning - Supersonic EP

Well we're rattling through the genres aren't we? So far only seven entries in June, and already we've taken in dubstep, D&B, deep house, big silly bassline, classic soulful house and now, with this, dark n' moody tech-house… you can say what you like about TIWWD, but you can't say my taste in music isn't all over the bloody shop.

But yeah, dark n' moody indeed this most certainly is… a proper heads-down, locked-on kinda groove. It's also one of the best things I've been sent this month, and it's not like there's any shortage of stuff I've really liked so that's saying something.

I'm actually doing Mr Henning something of a dis-service, cos there are five tracks on this EP and they're all really good… but it's the title track that's the standout, with its slightly skippified beat, disorientating treated vocal and dark, dark warping bassline. Go seek.

Out: This week

About: This is on Clink Music, which I initially thought was something to do with Mr C (as in Clink Street, y'see, and this certainly sounds like something you might have heard at The End back in the glory days), but it turns out no, they're based in Berlin. Isn't everyone these days? Anyway, here's their website.

This Is Why We Dance - the original!

Apologies to Matt Bandy of Deep House Souldiers cos I promised him I'd post this ages ago, but just to let you know that Limestone Recordings has been relaunched: here's their website although it's still under-development right now.

What this means is that you can now BUY the excellent This Is Why We Dance from which I shamelessly ripped the name of this blog at iTunes and Traxsource and Beatport, and lots of other places too… I'd suggest you do, but then I'm biased cos it's, like, one of my favourite records ever.

Out: Now


LYRICS! Nuff said...

"I have some problems/And no-one is going to solve them
You feel the same thing/All the trouble that the world brings
I have some joy/It's the only thing that frees me
You have to know/How this music moves my soul
And the world looks at us like we're crazy…"

Marc Leaf - However Do You Want Me

One of things I love about music is that no form of it ever dies. Not really. If you don't believe me, look in your local library/free paper and I bet you can find a recital of medieval lute music, and a 1940s swing dance. Which is good.

Similarly, bassline house reversions of Soul II Soul club classics (if you'll pardon the pun) are probably about the least hip thing in the whole world right now... but that doesn't stop Uber Digital up in Leeds from putting this out. And god bless 'em for it, cos however much great post-minimal deep house I might be getting sent at the moment, not many of those uber-cool tracks from Berlin and San Francisco and Romania get me grinning from ear to ear on first listen and bouncing in my chair within the first 60 seconds. Which this did.

Three mixes: Si Biddle, Levi Lewis, and Leaf's own More Organ Mix. And how was I ever not going to go for the More Organ Mix, eh?

Out: This week

About: This is on Uber Digital, which is run by Mr Leaf and his cohorts who also run the Uber night at Mission in Leeds. They don't seem to have a label website that I can see, but you can check some of their other releases at DJdownload and at Marc's MySpace. Gotta give the boys props as well cos some of the vocals they've burned (Naked Music NYC, Yvette Michelle) suggest they know their proper house n' garage from back in the day all right. They've even managed to fuck about with It's My Pleasure and not incur my wrath, and that's no mean feat...

El Mundo & Satori - The Boat That Rocked

The latest from 90Watts, a label that's only real come to my attention this year (even though they've apparently been going since 2008) but that's definitely on my must-check list at the mo'.

The Boat That Rocked is a rolling, upbeat dancefloor deep houser with a preacherman-style vocal that's thankfully not too OTT; also if you really can't hack the vocal there's a Speechless Dub for your vocal-shunning pleasure included too so ya can't really grumble. Also included is a Daniel Sanchez 6 Minutes Of Love Remix, which ups the rollicking good times factor for a mix that's just a little bit more main room, but still very playable.

You also get two mixes of bonus cut Stay Tuned. This is slightly more tech-tinged in its beats, but keeps the rolling, discofied kinda feel at the same time, and also has a looped female vocal: in fact, think a slightly tougher, more contemporary take on late 90s filter disco/disco house and you wouldn't be far off. Mulder's remix is a more stripped-down take, that takes us into more Sneak-y, jackin' pastures.

All told, five tracks/mixes and I'd happily play any one of 'em – what more can a boy ask for really?

Out: This week

About: As discussed, this comes from 90watts, whose label boss Jens De Langer sent me a nice email recently saying thanks for the support on TIWWD - always nice to know someone appreciates your efforts and you aren't just randomly sending out words into cyberspace. He also sent me his own forthcoming single Arcturian Armitrage; that's out in a couple of weeks (Americans: note correct use of 'of' there) so watch this space, in the meantime check out the 90watts website.

In other news, I am busting a 70s blow-wave look on the hair front today, and have just been watching a wood pigeon be a bit rubbish at sitting on the telephone cable outside my window. And when I say 'a bit rubbish', I mean he was about 11.02% better at perching on telephone cables than you or I might be, it was quite funny to watch. Just thought I'd share that.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Ost & Kjex - Continental Lover

One of the standout tracks from Ost & Kjex's excellent Cajun Lunch album gets a single release, with remixes from Stimming, UNER and Pawas.

The original, if you've not heard it, is a kind of nu-disco-meets-pop-meets-deep house thing with a "by himself" vocal refrain, a fat bassline and what sounds very like a Theremin at the start. I played this out recently and it went down very well indeed, thanks. Remix-wise, UNER takes the track into more overtly house territory and lends it a good deal more dancefloor urgency, Pawas goes very deep while the Stimming remix, well, it sounds like a Stimming track that's sampled the vocal. If pushed I'd go for UNER's remix but TBH, for me this is one of those cases where it ain't broke, and I'd generally stick to the Original.

Out: This week

About: Norwegian twosome Ost & Kjex have worked with the likes of Jamie Jones and Solomun, and you really should check out Cajun Lunch, you know, it's really rather good! In the meantime you can HEAR all these mixes at O&K's MySpace.

And this is on Diynamic, which is of course Solomun's label (and a regular haunt of Stimming's); find the Diynamic website here.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Abyss - Amore

By sheer coincidence, Abyss also features on the Endemic Digital Choice Cuts comp I reviewed a couple of days ago - in fact he's about the one artist I didn't name check, sorry bout dat. Anyway, here he is again, this time with a single on Sudbeat.

Amore is an instrumental, lead by a gentle synth motif, that will best suit those who like their deep house on the proggy and electronic side (or, if you prefer, those who like their prog on the deep side). It's accompanied by a remix from label boss Hernan Cattaneo, who takes it into even dreamier pastures, yet somehow manages to inject a little more dancefloor energy at the same time. Good work.

Out: Now (since Monday)

About: Abyss is known to the Italian taxman as Giuseppe Morabito, hails from Naples and started out as engineer at the Planet Funk studios, it says here. Sudbeat meanwhile was launched last year by Hernan Cattaneao, a TIWWD-certified Bloody Nice Bloke who I've known for years so always happy to show some love! Find Sudbeat on MySpace.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Inside Man/So Flow - VR007

We'll get back to the housey doings shortly but after the dubstep thing from DJ Rum, it seemed natural to move on to this rather fine liquid D&B offering on Vibration Records.

It's actually a split release, with Inside Man contributing Genetic By Design and So Flow featuring Bean offering up Colour Of Laughter. Both tracks can easily be filed under 'liquid', essentially, but to be more specific, the latter features some extremely frenetic top end contrasted by beautifully languid female vocal snips; I like it, but I like Genetic By Design even more, which is slightly mellower on the snares front, but then adds in a positively murky, almost dubstep-ish bassline just when you're not expecting it.

I am aware that it's not particularly hip to like liquid D&B any more, thanks, but frankly I couldn't give the proverbial flying fuck at a rolling doughnut – this is just wicked music. And 'just wicked music' is what TIWWD is all about.

Out: June 5

About: Vibration Records are based in Chedburgh in Suffolk, of all places. They've not had loads out, but on the basis of the excellent Energy Currency album by ATP, not to mention various downloadable mixes n' stuff, you can put me down as a fan. If you dig that Hospital sound, then you'll probably dig Vibration too - find 'em online here.

DJ Rum - Emerald/Plead With Me

Let's kick off the week with a spot of dubstep, shall we?

DJ Rum would appear to be a young lad from London and, on this evidence, operates in that area of dubstep where the crossover is with IDM, ambient techno and such. However, Plead With Me does also have cut-up, treated vox that hark back to the music's roots in garage, and as such, I'd be happy to give it ear-space in those very late night, smoky kinda moments. Not that I have too many of those these days, but still.

It also reminds me of the kind of thing I used to pick up on very limited 12" from Release The Groove circa 2000-2001, which sort of makes me smile in a nostalgic, old man-ish kind of fashion. I'm less taken by Emerald (The Antidote) – to give it its full title – which is the more out-and-out experimental/ambient-sounding of the two, but I'm sure it'll go down well with the Earnest Young Men who dig that kinda thing.

Out: This week

About: You can find out (a bit) more about DJ Rum at his MySpace. As for the label, this is on Smokin' Sessions, a sub-label of the Z Audio stable… which is interesting because a) this is the polar opposite of the kind of rude, in-your-face tearout dubstep that you normally associate Z Audio with and b) their logo is remarkably similar to the old Smokin' Beats logo, as old-time house n' garage heads will attest. So is it a tribute, or another one of Paul & Neil's multifarious stealth projects? You tell me…

PS Oh and welcome to Mr Fingers, this blog's newest follower and, quite excitingly, number 25. That's only about 39,975 or so readers less than Mixmag! I'm guessing it's not actually Larry Heard but you can't have everything.