Friday, 31 December 2010

Kita & The Hat - Abreme's Dream

Kita & The Hat Abremes DreamDeep, driving tech-house with a bit of a proggy twist here… pretty much par for the course from the ever-dependable Endemic Digital, then.

There's a bit of a saga behind Abreme's Dream. Engineered by James Talk, it first came out earlier in the year on Koothoomi Records, when Kita & The Hat were a two-piece. Since then, Wez 'The Hat' Saunders has left the band to take up the job of running Endemic, who are now re-releasing the record even though Saunders is no longer an official part of K&TH, with former partner-in-crime Jodie 'Kita' Lucas now operating under the name on a solo basis.

Got all that? Good. Cos musically, all you need to know is that this is deep, driving tech-house with a bit of a proggy twist… and it's quite good, even if there's a lot of this kind of tackle around at the mo'. Mixes come from Saunders, Ed Lee, Ryan Luciano and Echofusion.

Out: This week

About: Endemic Digital have been cropping up on here a lot lately but here's their website just in case.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Joeski & Matthias Heilbronn ft Theory - My Fix

Joeski Heilbronn My FixWhen two big-hitters like this pair team up, you'd expect pretty good results. Thankfully, My Fix doesn't disappoint. Kicking off with a simple pulsating b-line that owes not a little to classic Chi-town house, it gradually builds and evolves into an intoxicating, eyes-wide-shut dark room rhythm, and then stays there for the rest of its nine minutes.

The Vocal Remix adds some spoken vox in that menacing/ominous/sci-fi kinda fashion - think Thick Dick's Welcome To The Jungle or, more recently Snuff Crew's Berghain – but to be honest, it's a trick other producers have played quite a lot, so I'd stick to the original if I were you. Sometimes less really is more.

Out: Now (but only for a few days, you're not too late!)

About: This comes atcha on SAW Recordings, the legendary NYC stable which should need no introduction from me even though I don't think they've cropped up on this blog before. More info here.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Da Funk - Gloomy Scene

da funk gloomy sceneIn which Daniel Kneubühler, aka Da Funk, boss of Switzerland's ever-excellent Acryl Music, takes a bit of a left turn from the deep stuff and turns out one seriously heavyweight main room dark, proggy funker. Think early Underworld at their grooviest and you'll get the idea about the original and the GarcyNoise Ibiza's Way remix.

Then, flip it over and we're back to the quality deepness we've come to expect from Acryl, with Addex delivering a lean and mean 4am hip-shaker that wouldn't have sounded out of place in a Terrence Parker set circa 1994, and Pablo Fierro dropping some pad-tastic dub science for those more horizontal moments.

All told: it's groovy, baby.

Out: This week

About: Acryl are ace, as I've told you lots of times. And definitely NOT German, which it seems I might accidentally have told you a few times. Sorry Dan.

So yes, they're actually SWISS, not German. Are we all clear now? That's SWISS, not German. And as well as in SWITZERLAND, not Germany, they also live here.

Betoko Vs The Temptations - Papa Was A Rolling Stone bootleg

betokoWell well well… not sure if it was just coincidence or whether someone actually reads this blog :-) but a few hours after I wrote about Good Parts' cheeky Ball Of Confusion rerub, this landed somewhat anonymously in my inbox.

In the manner of good, playable bootlegs since such things existed, this is an extended chuggy house workout with hefty doses of the original sprinkled on top – we've all had a few of those in our box. I remember in particular a French house remake of The Doors with a picture of Eric Cantona on the label I used to play, anyway I digress… yeah, this is nice.

Not sure if or when or how you get hold of it, mind. But a bit of Google- and Discogs-based detective work leads me to believe that Betoko is a 31yo Mexican guy called Alberto Cohen, and you can check out a load of his stuff on YouTube, so off you pop and enjoy that…

Out: Not 100% certain it is…

About: …but Wow! Recordings might know :-)

Mike Jules & Luke J Sammut - She Thought, He Thought

she thought, he thoughtRemember those 1980s records that you were never sure, was this indie or all-out pop? I'm thinking things like The First Picture Of You by The Lotus Eaters, or Wonderful Life by Black? Well, that's what the vocal on this reminds me of: it's got that same kind of 'earnest, soulful white boy' thing going on. I'm also wondering whether the title is some kind of reference to rd laing's knots?

80s pop and 70s psycholinguistics references aside, this is a pleasantly chugging slab of poppy-ish house/dance (or is it all-out pop?) that's probably one for the younger floors* rather than aging house diehards. Like, er, me. But it's got enough energy to do the do, and enough character to do it in a rather likeable way. I'd suggest the Rob Clarke mix might be the best for club play.

Out: This week

About: This is on a new-ish Aussie label called Brain Kat. Which has just made me think of Mooncat, but never mind that right now. Here's their website.

* By which I don't mean youth clubs or U18s discos; just those dancefloors where the average age is below 30. Which, let's be honest, isn't a lot of deep house clubs, these days.

Good Parts - Temptation

good parts temptationMore cut-up/re-edit disco action from the Good Parts boys here.

Sadly, as befits the Star-Fi crew's status as diggers extraordinaire, I'm mostly at a loss as to telling you what the originals are… except for the rather excellent rework of The Temptations' Ball Of Confusion which gives the EP its title, of course. Oh hang on… apparently I Love You When Your Dub (sic) comes from a Rene & Angela tune, while Deeper Stuff (Irregular Disco Workers Remix) is actually a Good Parts original. Read the press release, Russell!

But never mind all that, all you need to know is that this is disco-fuelled, floor-moving tackle of the highest order.

Out: This week

About: Good Parts are of course regulars on Star-Fi Recordings, who you can find online here.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Alex Jones - City Farm EP

Alex Jones City FarmCo-owner of the Hypercolour label, Alex Jones is described on the hype sheet as a producer of "sharp, modern house and techno with distinctly trippy edge".

Yep, that'd about cover it.

Need to go do some other stuff for a bit right now, so not gonna go into every track, but suffice to say that if you like your electronic music forward-thinking, soul-infused and musical in an unpredictable, slightly experimental kinda way, then the four cuts here from Jones, who's worked with the likes of Glimpse, Jamie Jones, Mark Henning and Subb-An, should suit you to a T.

Out: Now

About: This comes on the fledgling Vitalik label, which is a) run by Mark Henning, a) based in London/Ibiza and c) nothing to do with French techno bloke Vitalic. Here's their website, and also, if you follow 'em on Soundcloud, not only do you get updates on all Vitalik releases, you can also download the Vitabits series of DJ tools.

Blakula - Permanent Midnight [Library Versions]

About four or five months ago, I reviewed Blakula's album Permanent Midnight in the pages of iDJ, calling it: "an arty, avant garde kind of affair […] probably one more for the connoisseurs rather than the dancefloor masses, and certainly best appreciated in its entirety, which means at home". Well, now five tracks from said "horror-themed nu-disco concept album" get a new lease of after-life, as they're reinvented in library music/soundtrack stylee.

So atmospheric drones, doleful minor piano chords, ominous footsteps and spookily creaking rusty door hinges are the order of the day. There's nothing here you'd want to dance to at all - rather, it's the sort of thing you'd use as a soundbed for your next spoof gothic horror short, or something.

An interesting oddity… albeit not really why we dance at all!

Out: Now

About: Like the original album, this comes atcha on Bear Funk, who are surely to be applauded for not being afraid to try something a little different.

Oh yeah, and Blakula's lifestory would seem to be an interesting one. That is, if the press release is to be believed, but I can't imagine they'd make up stories, can you?

Various - Neovinyl Allstars Vol 1

Neovinyl AllstarsMust admit, new label Neovinyl hadn't made a huge impression on me to date - that's not a diss, I'm just not sure if I even heard any of their previous releases. Which makes it all the more of a good idea that release number 10 is the label's first sampler EP/mini-album.

And what a sampler it is! If you like your house music deep, down and techy, with a soulful twist here, a disco flourish there and even a little garage-y skip in its step from time to time, then Neovinyl Allstars Vol 1, won't disappoint. From the jerky future-step of Elef's Bud's Dancer, to the low-slung East Midland-ish bump n' funk of Tom Ellis's Want You, to the straight-up deepness of Baldo's Looking Back For The Roots, this is a sure-fire winner.

Out: Now (for all of four or five days)

About: Neovinyl Recordings are based in Malaga, Spain. Here for your clicking pleasure are their website, a Soundcloud page where you can HEAR this and other releases and, finally, here's a YouTube stream of this whole EP.

And FINALLY finally, for those who are too lazy even to click the links, here's the Soundcloud player right here!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Poussez - Modern Identity [Andreas Saag Remixes]

First reviewed this earlier back in, ooh, April or so, when it picked up the highly sought-after Top Tune award on iDJ's house pages. And now it's back with remixes from Andreas Saag…

The overall vibe on Saag's four rubs is just a little less stripped-down and minimal, but the general 'for da headz' feel remains, as does the spoken anti-war vocal. The Epic Identity Remix also adds some Detroitian synth-string stabs, but basically all you need to know is that these are some fine remixes of what was already a damn fine deep house record.

Out: This week

About: This is of course on Artizan Music, which is Jafar and Maxime Cescau AKA Poussez's own imprint. More info, and lots of free DJ mixes to download, here.

Oh, and happy Xmas, by the way.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Umek Vs Phntm - Freaks On The Floor

Okay, so Umek normally does techno in a housier way than most anyway, but this I think is quite possibly the housiest thing I've heard the man yet.

Based around a "all the freaks get on the dancefloor" vocal sample, a jaunty walking b-line and looping disco brass, Freaks… is an uptempo partytime stomper and no mistake, guv'nor. Vaguely reminiscent of DJ Sneak, only a bit more full-on, it'll get those freaks on the dancefloor for sure.

Out: This week

About: Umek needs no introduction, of course, but here he teams up with Neptuun City boss Phntm. Apparently this was out before, in 2005, but I can't remember hearing it at the time… anyway it's on Umek's own 1605 Music Therapy label, so here's their website.

Starjackers - Something's Happening

I'm probably supposed to say I don't like this, cos it's far from the coolest or most credible record you'll hear this week… but it is a lot of fun.

Not quite sure whether Starjackers is another alias for Norman Cook or what, but either way, for now this is available only at the Fatboy Slim website. Essentially, it's a big beat party tune that uses a massive chunk of the horns from Geno by Dexy's Midnight Runners at its main hook. No, it's not clever, but it is big. And it's borderline impossible not to smile when you hear it!

Personally I'm preferring the original to the more in-your-face Doorly Remix but I'm sure you'll be hearing both out and about lots…

Out: Sunday (Dec 26)

About: As stated, this is available through the Fatboy Slim website right now, if you can't wait till Boxing Day, from which point it'll be available through Southern Fried.

Wasabi - Siciliano

The hype sheet describes this as "a house track influenced by Sicily": think the wedding music from The Godfather put over a 4/4 kick, and you're somewhere in the right area! It's okay, but there's a lot of this Balkan/gypsy jazz-type stuff around right now, so I'm gonna prop the Miky J & Rickie Snice remix, which largely ditches the trumpets, accordions and oompah-loopah beats, and is more your typical tech house chugger… only with enough of a jaunty swing in its veins still to lift it above the masses of similar material around right now.

Out: Now

About: This is the latest from Erase, Wasabi's usual home, who can be found online here.

Various - Break Out sampler

This is a five-track taster EP from Musical Missionary, trailing a full-length compilation of the same name. And what a varied EP it is too, with two cuts of deep house from Swanken and MikeZ, two of deep glitchy techno from Stunp & Symbio and Miguel Colmenares, and one number from Oilpanic that sits somewhere between deep house and nu disco.

All five tracks are very solid, but it's MikeZ's His Spirit, with its dreamy pads, that's the killer for me.

Out: Now (since Dec 22)

About: Musical Missionary is a US label run on a not-for-profit basis. Here's what they have to say about themselves:

Musical Missionary is a nonprofit charity and electronic music record label dedicated to providing music and arts education to underprivileged youth. Musical Missionary accepts donated music from accomplished electronic music producers and releases it under the Musical Missionary label to raise money for this cause. Profits from label sales go to sponsor music lessons for deserving students who would otherwise be unable to afford them.
For information on how to contribute, or for more information about Musical Missionary’s music, mission and people, visit

Monday, 20 December 2010

Shonky – Les Shonkettes

I wonder if 'shonkettes' is what Shonky likes to call the hordes of adoring female fans that no doubt mob him everywhere he goes? I like to think so, cos the idea holds out the promise that – one day, maybe, just maybe – I'll be followed everywhere by adoring Dansettes.

For anyone under the age of 40, that's a joke about record players that you wouldn't understand. Don't worry about it.

Anyway, enough of my crap quasi-humour and on to this record, which is more of the very now-sounding and very polished house/techno that the Shonky one is so good at. There are four original tracks (ie no remixes): Les Shonkettes is deep but upbeat and a little bit discofied, Obelix is a little more soulfully inclined but still with balls, Crapulerie is pure Chi-town bass squelch… and then the almighty beast of a tune that is Conquistador comes along with its big throbbing organ and techy tinges, and it's game over.

All told, an excellent EP that's further proof, as if any were required, that proper jackin' house music is alive and well as yet another decade gets into gear. Go seek.

Out: This week

About: This is on Contexterrior, which is one of Jay Haze's labels, and a regular home for the Shonkmeister. Find 'em online here.

Sydney & LukeZ – & I

Yeah, my boy DJ Sydney again, but can I help it if the man keeps consistently coming up with ace house nuggets? What's a boy supposed to do?

So, yes, here he comes again, this time in collaboration with one LukeZ – a new name to me – and, for once, not on Tokyo Red, but rather on Nightshade Music. Actually, & I is a tad more commercial/main room-sounding than most of the Tokyo Red output, but not so much so as to not be worth bothering with. It's just, with that rather polished, pop-style vocal, you might want to play it on an Ibiza terrace more than at some deep house free party in a squat, is all I'm saying.

Randall Jones supplies a remix but it doesn't do a huge amount different, albeit his rub is perhaps a little bit deeper and proggier. So either will work when you need to reach for something that's accessible, that's got bags of energy, but that won't curdle milk at 50 paces.

Out: Now

About: Nightshade Music is a label based in Houston, Texas – find out more here.

Nic Fanciulli & Stacey Pullen – Limmo

Time was, when I used to speak to Nic quite a lot, cos he used to be one of the judges for iDJ's Raw Talent contest. Now I'm not there full time and he's not one of the judges anymore… well, what can I say? He doesn't write, he doesn't phone… …but I'm willing to bet the lad from Maidenhead was pretty stoked to be working with no less a figure than Stacey Pullen.

With a meeting of minds like that – one legend of the old school, one leading light of the new school – you'd expect something pretty good, and Limmo doesn't disappoint. It's a simple chugging tech-house groove, topped off with a spoken vocal (that I'm guessing comes from Pullen himself, though I could be wrong), but it's very, very effective.

More mixes wouldn't have gone amiss (there's only one promo'd here), but hey.

Out: Now (only for a few days, but we've gone into tomorrow now, so from now on up, 'this week' is back to meaning 'this week coming')

This is on Nic's own Saved Records, who you can visit online here, if you've a mind to.

Pete Dafeet – In Flux

This is the 40th release from Lost My Dog, which has quietly established as one of the UK's foremost deep house labels. So for the anniversary release, label co-owner Pete Dafeet steps up with yet another of his trademark deep house bullets.

You're surely familiar with LMD's bumping, East Midlands-influenced take on deep house by now, and all I'd add specifically about this track is that, thanks to the inclusion of some female vocal snippets, it's perhaps just a little more soul-infused than some of the previous LMD output. So I'm not sure how much else there is to say about it, except that the EP's got five tracks in total: the original of In Flux itself, two rerubs from Atjazz, and bonus cuts Think It Through and Future You. The latter goes down a slightly techier/proggier route, while Think It Through is in a similar vein, but again with cut-up vox that push it in the vague direction of tech soul or even future garage territory. A bit, but it's still in yer typical LMD deep house vein, essentially – which is no bad thing at all, cos that's what we love 'em for.

Out: This week

About: As I said, you should know all about LMD by now, but if you've just come in, here's their website

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Roger Sanchez presents Battle Weapons 3

Good old Rog: you can't knock him, really. He might be more your main stage, big in Ibiza, known-for-the-hits type DJ these days, but to be fair to the S-Man, he's been making quality house music since today's agenda-setting Shoreditch types were pissing their nappies. And if you've ever been in a big room when Rog is on the decks, then you'll know that when it comes to rocking a floor, there's very few can touch him.

Here, then, are five of the tracks with which Mr Sanchez has been rocking said floors of late. It's fair to say the overall vibe is big room rather than cool, hip and underground, but the worst electro/cheese excesses are avoided – well, I'd say they are, but I guess that depends where you stand on Prok & Fitch and Guy Williams' wholesale lifting of the classic 'Fascinated' riff for their contribution, Yalla. Geoff M & Terrence T's Bang! perhaps has too much of a foot in the nu-rave for comfort, but the other four tracks (Yalla included) will serve non-elitist house floors nicely, with Tangula's Boys Don't Dance a personal highlight.

Good old Rog, eh?

Out: This week

About: This is on Stealth Records, which is of course Sanchez's own label, based in the Netherlands where he now resides. Visit their website here.

On a slightly less relevant note, Roger Sanchez once kissed my girlfriend, and she got a bit swoony and had to have a bit of a sit-down. I didn't mind, though: it was only a friendly mwah-mwah peck on the cheek, and it's an understandable reaction I guess. And he was paying for dinner, after all…

Proper Heat – We Are Ready EP

Okay, I'm giving up all hope of any sort of genre-based consistency here, as we take a leap from the loopy techno of Lutzenkirchen (below) straight into the nu-disco vibes of Proper Heat, an outfit from Lithuania headed by Martin Virgin. Good job he's from Lithuania, really. A name like that would have been a serious liability at any English school.

But seriously, folks… this is a pretty cool EP, especially if you like your nu disco from that floaty, proggy and somewhat epic end of the spectrum where you suspect it secretly wants to be the middle bit from The Man With The Red Face. The rather ’80s-sounding vocal isn't really my cup of tea but lots of you don't seem to mind that sort of thing, and it's easy to imagine this going down well with fans of Trentemøller, Lindstromm and other Scandolearic faves.

In total there are four mixes of We Are Ready itself – of which I personally would plump for the Max Essa Disco Dub – plus bonus cut Dance Above, which is a bit less floaty, a bit more funky, and all the better for it.

Out: This week

About: This is on Nang Records, who of course have had TONS of love on this blog so here's their website and let's move on…

Lutzenkirchen – Splinter Cell

We're rattling through the genres today: from deep tech house, to D&B, to disco house, through prog and now into what's essentially straight techno. Can't say TIWWD isn't eclectic in its tastes!

That said, like most of Lutzenkirchen's output this is straight techno of the loopy variety that's got enough groove to it to appeal to your average househead, too. There are just two mixes on offer, the original and a rerub from label bosses Act.Sense. And it's their remix I'm going to plump for, as it's just a tad less bombastic, and a tad funkier, than Lutzenkirchen's original… though both are playable.

Out: This week

About: This is on a new Brazilian label, Off Axis, which is owned and run by the aforesaid Act.Sense themselves. Act.Sense go by the names of Felipe Charret and André Dias in real life, in case you were wondering. Can't find a website, again, but you can HEAR THIS on Soundcloud which is something!

Deepfunk – Crystals

Just the two mixes here, which makes a nice change from labels putting out 11 mixes in the hope that ONE of 'em will catch on!

Crystals is a dark-ish, heads-down rumbler of a tune, coming from the deeper end of the prog spectrum. It's big, it's dramatic, it's brooding and exhilarating by turns… and it needs you to hear it, really, cos this kind of texture-based prog stuff is hard to describe in words.

S'good, though. So you see, we never did need those extra nine mixes!

Out: This week (NB: with everything posted today, 'this week' means 'in the week just gone' not 'in the week coming up'. Just so's we're clear)

About: This is on Stripped Recordings, who are always a solid bet for the tuffer/techier/proggier stuff that's nevertheless still definitely within the house arena. Find 'em online target="blank">here. Deepfunk, BTW, is apparently from Malta, though that's about as much as I can tell you.

Coeur D'Amour – Wild Lovin' EP

If I tell you that this is on Stardust Records, a new label set up by Philadelphia's DJ EQ, who not so long since had his own artist album out on Sean Biddle's Bid Muzik, then you should have some idea what to expect. Yep, this is 'back to the late-’90s' disco-house all the way…

That being the case, you could hardly call the Wild Lovin' EP the month's most groundbreaking release – in fact, let's be honest, it's 'archetypal', which is another way of saying 'formulaic', and it does have a slight whiff of cheese about it in parts.

BUT there's really rank, stinking cheese, and there's quite pleasant cheese. And if you cast your mind back to the late-90s, I think you'll find some of us were out in clubland having a blast while most of today's Shoreditch hipsters and too-cool-for school blognoscenti were still sitting around in their Postman Pat pyjamas playing on their GameBoys and listening to their Aqua CD. So fuck 'em. The five tracks here thankfully eschew the kind of electro snarls or horrible Dutch squeals that befoul much similar material these days, so they're all right in TIWWD's books… file this alongside the likes of Duck Sauce as 'good clean dancefloor fun'.

Out: This week

About: Stardust Records, as stated above, is a new label run by DJ EQ. Can't seem to find a website but here they are on Soundcloud

Various – VR010

Sticking with the D&B vibes a minute, and here's the latest from a label I certainly have come across before: the excellent Vibration Records, the Essex boys (I think) who are doing a sterling job of keeping proper musical D&B alive in the face of so much post-Pendulum/Chase & Status noisy kiddy electro trance rawk stadium bollocks. There, I said it ;-)

The EP is made up of four tracks from four artists: Dave Owen & Sconeboy, Undersound, Blue Motion, and ATP & Calculon. All four tracks follow a deep, musical, liquid-y kinda vibe, and all four are strong, but if pushed I think it's Owen & Sconeboy's jazz-tinged Coming Apart, with its echoes of classic DJ Krust material, that's working the best for me. It's a close call, though, cos as I said: this is a very strong EP all round.

Out: This week

About: Find Vibration Records online here.

Survival & Silent Witness – Graham's Tunnel/Bullet

After all that deep tech house, if this was a DJ set or Mixcloud show I might want to be flipping the script a little here… so let's look at a couple of this week's D&B releases, starting with this moody little two-tracker.

Mostly if you say 'techy' in a drum & bass context, it makes you think of horrible in-your-face Ed Rush/Optical/Bad Company boys' noise fodder. This, though, is techy for sure, but not horrible or in-your-face In the least.

Y'know how liquid funk could sort of be described as 'housey drum & bass'? And you know how house has gotten a lot techier in the past couple of years? Well then. Think a techier, slightly darker take on liquid and you get something like these two cuts.
Graham's Tunnel is the noisier of the two and perhaps owes a slight debt to dubstep in terms of its structure; I'm liking Graham's Tunnel but I'm loving Bullet.

Out: This week. And apparently already big with the likes of Marcus Intalex, Doc Scott and dBridge, if thatt's any help.

About: This is on a label called Audio Tactics, which I'll confess I don't think I've come across before. Their website is 'coming soon' but here they are on

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Subb-An - What I Do EP

subb-anMore deep, tracky shizzle here, as well, with three tracks from this rising Brummie star.

Deep, techy house is the order of the day once more. The title cut features a disembodied D-Train vocal snip echoing over crisp midtempo beats and a nagging b-line, No More features similarly fucked-with female vocal snippets from LOIs and a similarly chuggy backbeat, while My Slang is just the tiniest bit more upbeat and funky… but that's in comparative terms, y'unnerstan.

Essentially, this is pared-down deep house/tech house bizniss, made for druggy 5am dancefloors or drifting off into outer space from the comfort of your sofa. Which is to say, TIWWD likes it a lot…

Out: This week

About: This is on Culprit, who are based in LA. Found a website for 'em but it doesn't look like it gets updated much, cos the discography only goes up to CP006 and this is CP011… so here, also, is label boss Droog's MySpace

Sehou - To Who Love EP

sehouMore ever-so-slightly jazz-tinged tracky bizniss here. With four stripped-down, minimalist (not 'minimal') jackin' trax on offer, this will appeal to lovers of Berlin-style tech house, ultra-deep NJ garage, vintage Strictly Rhythm and the very deepest shades of house and techno, yada yada yada....

None of the tracks DO very much, admittedly. But what they (don't) do, they do so well, in a rollin', heads-down and lost-in-the-zone kinda way. Go seek.

Out: This week

About: This is on Be As One, which of course is Shlomi Aber's label, and based in Israel. Find out more about Be As One here.

Enzo Siffredi - Song Of The Dawn

Enzo SiffrediJust the one track promo'd here, which the label are calling "a tech house track influenced by ’30s with a jazz attitude". Which tells you pretty much all you need to know, really: this ain't nothin' more than a jaunty little groove… but as jaunty little grooves go, it's sounding pretty damn fine.

Out: This week

About: This is on the ever-dependable Erase – ever dependable, that is, assuming that top-quality tracky tech house shit is what you're after! Erase can be found online here.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Love Theme – Two

This is, as the name suggests, the second EP/mini-album from The Love Theme, AKA Dominic Owen. Must admit I've not heard the first one, so how this compares I can't tell you. But I can tell you it's… pretty good, actually.

If you imagine a Freestylers or Dub Pistols only in a more 2010 kinda style, you're somewhere in the right ballpark. As such I'm liking this, rather than loving it loving it loving it, because inherent in such an MO are traces of the kiddie crunk electro with noo wave attitood or whatever you want to call it that blights 50% of the Top 40 these days. Particularly on the track Bum Bum Bum. But I did say 'traces', because when this EP's not strutting around in a stupid trucker's cap and too-bright trainers, it spends quite a lot of time windin' up its waist to gut-wrenching basslines, skankin' riddims and ragga chat. And that's always a good thing.

Oh yeah, and you get a blast of disco too, in the form of Owen's own remix of Boogaloo, which also comes with a skanking-as-above Riccicomoto DubClub Session mix that sits somewhere between bassline, dubstep and breaks, and a Cottonmouth Remix that's like housed-up dubstep, or maybe dubstep-tinged house. You decide.

All told, then, Two is a little bit more raucous and teenage and Prodigy-ish (see Tension) than might normally feature on TIWWD. But it's also… yknow, pretty good, actually.

Out: This week

About: This is on Permanent Damage, who you can visit in cyberspace by clicking here.

And it's got a very strange cover, hasn't it?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Arco - Special Things EP

Arco Special ThingsRight, so last night I was reviewing singles for iDJ and I wrote a review of this, only to realise that it's actually out already… so obviously way too late to get it in a magazine that isn't out for another month. Still, the review was written, so here's what it said:

Four tracks, plus a seriously saxed-up remix of ‘Higher’. ‘Special Things’ itself is non-drippy, jazzed-up west coast of the highest order, ‘Moody Groove’ brings some live slap bass to the party, ‘Dancin’ has a phat-ass Harlem loft party vibe and… well, you get the idea. As absurdly funky and bumpin’ as we’ve come to expect from Salted.

I was gonna give it nine stars as well… so yeah, this is pretty gosh-darned groovy all round, really.

Out: Now!

About: Find Salted online here

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sare Havlicek feat Hannah Mancini - Pleasure Storm

sare havlicek pleasure stormIt's no secret by now that I'm a big fan of Slovenian nu disco dude Sare Havlicek, so I'll keep it short and sweet on this one. Suffice to say that this cut from the excellent Toscana Nights album now gets a single release.

Pleasure Storm features Hannah Mancini on vocals, who also voiced previous single Dreams In Light, and indeed follows a similarly synth-y and string-dripping nu disco blueprint as that track. But Havlicek does this stuff so well you won't find me grumbling, and if anything Pleasure Storm is a touch funkier. Which is nice. There are five mixes on offer – they don't vary immensely TBH but it's retro, boogified action you're after you'll be more than happy.

Out: This week

About: This is on Nang, of course… label website (where you can HEAR THIS single) here. And if you want to check out more of Sare's stuff, hit up his Soundcloud page

Low End Theory - Waking Up Benirras

low end theoryLet's go a little darker now, with this prog-tinged tech-houser from Dutch duo Low End Theory, who've lately been picking up props from none other than a certain M. Garnier.

Waking Up Benirras, then, is a moody, broody kind of affair, the kind of thing that dark corners of The End at 4am were (or rather used to be) made for. You've got two mixes to choose from: I'm preferring Remix One as it's got a little more funk in its veins, but if you're playing to crowds of lads with their shirts off, then the darker, more heads-down Remix Two may serve you better.

Out: This week

About: This comes atcha on the boys' own label Lowendcommunity.

Various - Finest NY House 2010

finest ny house 2010Sorry folks, been a bit of a quiet week on the blog front, just cos it's been hectic on every other front... but anyway, back now, with a four-track EP from the mighty King Street Sounds, who certainly ought to know a thing or two about NY house!

The real treat for me here is the Silver City remix of Ptaah's Fade Away, which is as dreamy a house nugget as you're likely to hear all month. Got to say am considerably less impressed by the trance/electro-isms of Stefan Noferini's rub of Roland Clark's Got To Believe, but the Supernova mix of Kerri Chandler's Hallelujah and bonus cut Ice Trucking by G.IL.V are both solid bets, making this a worthwhile package for lovers of more straight-up traditional house.

Out: This week

About: Hit up King Street here.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Melomano - Vale EP

And here comes another one! Another quality deep houser from another firm favourite label of TIWWD's, that is, the label in this case being Unrivaled Music. Every release Unrivaled have sent me lately (and there's been a few of 'em) has been wicked, and this is no exception.

There's three tracks on offer, but I'm gonna concentrate on Pie De Limon which is the standout for me. Think the lushness you get with west coast house, only without the slightly saccharine pop sweetness that sometimes implies. Keep it midtempo, deep n' dreamy, then factor in a jazzual female vocal that's HIGHLY reminiscent of Nicolette (that's a compliment not a diss!) and you're looking at – or rather listening to – something rather special.

Vale itself is a touch more dancefloor, while Santiago AM is another mellow, late-night kind of affair. Both would stand up very nicely on their own, and the three together make for a very strong EP, but neither can QUITE compare to Pie De Limon for me. But like I said: every release Unrivaled have sent me lately has been wicked, and this is no exception.

Out: This week

About: Unrivaled Music can be found online here

B-Side Music - Warming Up

Right, gonna keep this brief - see comments below about how much there is to get through this week. But suffice to say, you should have worked out a couple of things by now:

1. 2010 has been mostly all about the deep, techy house for me, and
2. Endemic Digital do deep, techy house very, very well, IMNERHO

…so when I tell you this is the latest installment in Endemic's ongoing quest to provide the world with top-drawer deep, techy house, then you know you need this record, right?

That is all.

Out: This week

About: Just in case you're a bit new or you've not read this blog before… Endemic/Endemic Digital is a UK-based label specialising in high-quality deep, techy house. Find out more here.

DJ Linus - Machinery EP

Good and bad news on the releases/reviews front this week, pop pickers. The good news is that house music seems to be hitting something of a purple patch right this very minute, with absolutely tons of great trackage coming very, very soon (ie, this week) to a store near you.

The bad news is that I'm absolutely up to my ears, got 100+ downloads waiting for me on top of what's already in the 'to blog' folder, plus it's iDJ's reviews deadline coming up which is going to require some (all) of my attention at some point.

So might have to do one of those round-up thingies at some point this week, but for now let's crack on talking about this, which is the latest from the ever on-point Tokyo Red. There are three tracks: Machinery itself and Floking are maybe not quite so deep and groovy as recent TR material – nothing cheesy, just 'house' rather than 'deep house' if you see what I mean, but still very good and still more than up to the job of moving booties on your dancefloor.

But for me, the treat here is Right Here Right Now, which moves us back into deeper, more familiar territory and is, as ever, a very solid bet indeed. Lush piano chords, a fat but understated walking bassline, wooden percussion and soul-drenched half-spoken, half-sung vocal snippets… niceness!

Out: This week

About: I've banged on so much about how good Tokyo Red are that even THEY'RE probably sick of hearing it by now! So here's their MySpace and let's leave it at that.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Ellesse - North & South EP

Next up, here's the latest from a producer who's definitely worth keeping yer eyes on, based on the tracks I've heard from the lad to date. Ellesse is main man at Manchester club night Kaluki, which used to be at Sankey's Soap.

On to the record, and I have to say calling this an EP is stretching it a bit, given that there's only two tracks. But such is the way of the world. At any rate, Cuban Brass (Dub) is mostly about the insistent percussion, which is made for moving bodies (and for long, slow blends), but does feature some rather lovely pads as well, and a squelchy (faux?) analogue synth lead. It's groovy enough as drum-led tracks go, but I'm feeling New York Boy more, with its retro Chi-town b-line and sparse 909 kicks.

It's not the most innovative/inventive/ground-breaking release in the world, then. But if you're after some no-nonsense jackin' house music, the North & South EP won't disappoint at all.

Out: Now (it just says 'late November' so I'm not sure how long for, but not for, like, months or anything)

About: I've just told you pretty much all I know about Ellesse, but this comes on Kaluki Music and it's only their second release so show some love, peeps! You can start by hitting 'em up on MySpace

Unclesound - French Connection EP

After taking a detour into in-your-face D&B, let's come back to what TIWWD knows and loves best – deep, groovy house music.

Unclesound are a French duo who go by the names Rafael Nemrod and Phatvass, and have previously appeared on the excellent Etoka imprint. Here they serve up a four-track EP with the emphasis on phat, disco-fied dancefloor deep house vibes. We Got The Groove references Rapper's Delight in its cheeky little vocal snips, Funky Star (in two mixes, the rerub coming from Sounddiggers AKA Justin Critchlow) has just the lightest hint of French touch about it, but the real delight here is Dope, which… is. Dope, that is. And here IT is. Nuff said!

Out: This week

About: This comes on Boston, US label Headtunes Recordings – so here are some Headtunes links: Website MySpace Soundcloud Facebook. At time of writing you can HEAR THIS at the Soundcloud or MySpace links so you've no excuses for not checking out this prime house slab!

Some D&B from Masai and Body & Soul

Feeling like a bit of an energy injection today, so thought now would be a good time to talk about these two singles from Masai and Body & Soul, which are both on a pretty firin' D&B tip…

In fact, be careful with One by Masai, unless you woke up this morning thinking, "What I could really do with, is a new arsehole tearing". It's pretty full-on stuff, as is Heretic on the B: so much so in fact that I wouldn't normally like it, except that, on the plus side, they've eschewed the shiny electro/trance stylings that everyone seems to be doing right now, so that alone makes this stand out head and shoulders above most of the cheesy stadium D&B doing the rounds.

Monster Walk VIP by Body & Soul is another very 'energetic' cut, and in fact most of the same comments apply as per the Masai release. On the flip though you get Crisis Nasca, which is still uptempo and hard but has a slightly groovier feel to it. Think Breakbeat Kaos with the most subtle of liquid funk shimmies and you'll get the idea.

Out: 13 December, both of 'em. So these might not be the most informed reviews you'll read but at least they're upfront!

About: The Body & Soul release comes on Nasca Records, the Masais single on Mainframe Recordings. As I know f*** all about either I'll let you Google 'em yourselves…

[sic] - Substance Abuse/Vermin

I'll admit I'm a bit biased here, cos Dan Jeffries AKA [sic] is a mate of mine… but this EP rocks all the same if you're looking for some tuff, techy bizniss. In all, you get three mixes of Substance Abuse – from Rektchordz, The Occult and Wasabi – plus bonus cut Vermin.

Having been a big fan of Wasabi's releases on Erase, his was the mix I was most excited about, but while his driving heads-down rub is still good, I'm actually preferring Rektchordz' take – gotta love that fat squelch bass! The Occult's mix is a bit too dark for me, but there you go.

Finally, Vermin is evidence of Dan's ongoing love of glitchy minimal techno and as such, wouldn't do much for me normally… except this is glitchy minimal techno with a big rumbling bassline that has 'early speed garage' written all over it (it makes me think of Baffled Republic's Bad Boys Move In Silence in particular). Which is definitely interesting.

All told, a very strong EP from this fast-rising Bristol producer.

Out: This week

About: This is on local (ie, Bristol) label AUX, who I gather are quite the techno stalwarts and as such you probably know more about 'em than I do… anyway, here's their MySpace and website, and instead I'll tell you that when he's not producing tuff, dark tech-house and minimal, Dan also has a strange obsession with TV theme tunes.

S'true, y'know... when we had our Sunday session Original Sound Track going on, he came down and played two hours of the music from Happy Days and Neighbours and stuff. Went down really well, actually.

Kotey Extra Band - Full Length

Unless I'm mistaken (which does happen), then this is nu-disco stalwart Steve Kotey's first, er, full-length since his 2009 offering as Afrobutt. And I'm glad to report it's a far more satisfying affair than said album, which got only a so-so 6/10 from yours truly in iDJ at the time.

The key thing to note is that Kotey seems to have gotten over the Moroder/Italo obsessions, and moved on to a sound that's altogether more organic and funky. Fans of 'cooler', more cosmic/Euro styles are still catered for - check Leave Me I'm Dancin' or Danger Eyes for instance - but cuts like Hustlin' or Scooter Show have the mid-70s stamped all over them, not the early 80s, and sound all the better for it.

There are no major surprises on offer, it's true. But it's definitely better than the last one – if we gave marks on here, we'd be looking at an 8 – and it's a sign that Kotey is still worth keeping an eye on. Because you do get the feeling the best is yet to come…

Out: This week

About: This is on Kokey's own Bear Funk label, naturally enough… visit 'em online here.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

iDJ's new virtual player thingummy

Had to roll by the iDJ office last night, and the boys were showing me their new virtual player thingummybob. Volume 1 features a 15-minute report from this year's ADE, mixdown tips from Danny Byrd and live mixes from Mr Scruff and Zombie Disco Squad…

Click here to see the player (I tried to embed it but it didn't quite work).

There's also 12 free tracks to download – but you'll need to buy a copy of the new iDJ to get the promo code for those. Which you should anyway cos it's the annual Players of the Year issue, with our look back over the past 12 months, plus – and this is quite good – an interview with dub legend Scientist by yours truly, in which he waxes lyrical on dubstep and why he's not a fan of Yamaha NS-10s…

Out: Now

About: To get the free tracks (including cuts from Riva Starr and Redlight Vs Ms Dynamite), head to your local agent and say, "My good news vendor, one pristeen copy of International DJ, Britain's finest dance music and DJing magazine, please."