Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Belocca - Wired On Love EP

Belocca Wired On LoveRight then, rant over, silly cowbell-adding websites duly propped, and we can get back in that good house music groove again.

The 'stupidly busy' bit still applies though so we'll get going with this one, cos it's nice and easy: three tracks of quality house music courtesy of Hungary's Belocca, who's had stuff out on the big-hitting likes of Cr2, Nervous and Toolroom. B'Wired is an insistent jacking discofied groove that teases with the most minute of vocal snips, I Need You works more pounding kicks and some garage-y filtered organ sounds and Lemme Love U starts out as a more shuffly, percussive kinda thing before going on full-on disco house.

Any or all of 'em will rock any decent house floor, being accessible enough for mass appeal, yet not so cheesy as to alienate the more discerning heads. Nice touch.

Out: This week

About: This comes atcha on Wired, but I can't seem to find a website for 'em so here's Belocca's MySpace instead. Oh no, hang on... here's the Wired Soundcloud page as well.

More cowbell!

Once more I find myself apologising for the lack of blog action lately… this is partly due to just generally being stupidly busy, and partly due to someone in the house music industry pissing me right off and making me think, why the hell do I bother giving up my spare time to review music for nothing, just so that people can whine about minor inaccuracies in otherwise glowing reviews?

But as we've got a new follower today I kinda felt it was time to get the ball rolling again. Rather than a record review, though, gonna kick off the week with something a little bit different… here's a website that lets you add 'more cowbell' to any record of your choice, and – as if that wasn't enough – more Christopher Walken, too. Both variables being controlled by a continuous slider from 0-100% for max tweakability (putting that bit in for all the studio boffins, lest anyone get the idea this was in any way a frivolous posting).

Here's the link… enjoy!

PS If anyone ever writes about this blog, bigs it up, posts a link, whatever... you can spell my name wrong, say I'm based in Christchurch, NZ instead of Bristol, whatever... basically feel free to make mistakes, and I'll appreciate the effort you've made anyway. I won't grumble about it in public and make you look a twat... if only record labels felt the same way, eh?

PPS To those labels/artists/PRs who sometimes post ADDITIONAL information as comments here... that is very helpful and this rant is not aimed at you!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Goulet - The Spins

Goulet The SpinsFunny how things change… I never thought I'd get sent a house record and find that my favourite mix was the "bassy tech-fidget" one. But such is the case with this.

The mix in question comes from Lee Jarvis, and it's definitely my pick of five rubs of The Spins on offer. Although a) I wouldn't have used the f***** word myself, I'd have just called it deep, techy house and b) Roy Davis Jr's spaced-out, organ-led pass ain't half bad either.

The other mixes come from JT Donaldson and Justin Reed (plus of course Goulet's original), and you also get bonus cut Extra Long Polo thrown in, which is a kind of wiggy slap-bass and Rhodes workout over a deep house backdrop.

Anyway, with six tracks to choose from, you're gonna find something to play, so check it. This is straight from the Chi-town underground, people, just the way we like it!

Out: Tomorrow

About: Like I said, this is from Chicago where the Revolutionary Music crew have, I'm reliably informed, been putting on loft parties for some years now. This is the 25th release on the resulting record label.

Oh yeah, and I should probably tell you Goulet is originally from San Antonio in Texas, and is one of the Revolutionary Music co-founders. Sorry, I know this review's a bit lacklustre, but I've got toothache and a million things to do.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Matthias Richter - Bumping EP

Matthias Richter Bumping EPBumping by name, bumpin' by nature! Expect nothing from this EP but straight-up ass-shakin' grooves for the dancefloor.

There are three tracks: Bumping itself plus Hello Everybody and the oddly-named Gooml. All three sit right on the house techno border, although Gooml is the most overtly house-ified of the three and hence my pick. But there's not a lot to say about any of them really, except that they'll keep butts moving for sure.

Out: This week

About: This is on Sume Music, which is an offshoot of German label Housesession. They send me a lot of stuff but a lot of it either comes in too late, or is a bit too proggy/trancey/electro-tastic. Sometimes though, as here, they come up with the goods! You can HEAR other recent Sume releases on their Soundcloud page.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Hollen - Motion/Groove Man

Hollen MotionRight, I am so f***ing busy with proper work at the moment that it is making me want to run away and cry. That not really being an option, I'd best get on with… but I didn't want to neglect you, my beloved TIWWD faithful entirely.

So I thought, what can I review quite quickly? And I thought, I know, this… cos there's just the two tracks y'see. Motion is nice and easy to talk about cos it's yer basic rolling, slightly housey techno, but GOOD rolling techno you understand, you could even call it tech-house if you were in a pushing-it kinda mood. And then Groove Man is, well, pretty much more of the same.

So yeah, two tracks of good rolling dancefloor techno. And it's out tomorrow. Job done.

Out: Tomorrow (24 May) but only on Beatport. Other stores from 21 June.

About: Hollen has had stuff out before on Kling Klong and counts Richie Hawtin and Martin Eyere among his supporters. This comes atcha on UK label Dirty Deluxe Recordings. Here's their website, and you can also find 'em on Soundcloud where you can currently HEAR THIS.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Various - Beatdown Sampler Vol 1

Beatdown MusicThat’s Beatdown Music the Australian record label, you understand, not as in beatdown the slightly vague ‘genre’. So don’t pick this up looking for future soul, bruk beat, slo-mo house and deep, abstract techno. DO pick it up if you’re looking for some proper bumpin’ house to rock your dancefloor, with the cheeky biting of very familar vocal samples something of a theme…

First up, What’s His Name? comes from Marc Spence & Dr Love, and works snippets of the eponymous First Choice classic over insistent, bouncing beats. Tom Shorterz’ Cafe Of Lost Love then places another very familiar vocal sample (Primal Scream fans will recognise it for sure) over some rolling disco-house vibes in that late 90s kinda vein.

Next we have label boss Sonny Fodera, whose Contact is an upbeat slab of dancefloor deep in a Salted kinda vein, with a heavy dose of jazz (musically and vocally) and a little bit of Fatboy thrown in for good measure. And then finally, you get Don't Stop by James Shoji, which is in a similarly driving dancefloor vein, with echoes of UKG in its skippy, chopped-up feel and, unbelievably, chunks of Smokey Robinson’s Being With You, along with one or two other naggingly famliar little soundbites...

The latter takes some serious cojones, and it’s between that and the Sonny Fodera track as to which is my fave, but this is a very, very strong EP all round if it’s dancefloor frolics you’re after.

Out: This week

About: Beatdown Music is Sonny Fodera’s own label and just six releases young. The likes of Mark Farina, Gramphonedzie and Jorge Watts have already made appearances, though, so the future’s looking decidedly bright! You can find out more here.

Which is a good time to tell you as well, I guess, that Sonny is also featured in this month’s iDJ, along with Yakine, Pretty Criminals, Youandewan, Tempered DJs, Groovik and a bunch of other names that should be familiar to TIWWD readers, in a 'Rising Stars of Deep & Tech House' feature penned by yours truly. It’s in UK stores right now.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Karol XVII & MB Valence - Seamless Masterclass

Karol XVII MB Valence Seamless MasterclassThe first in a new series of mix CDs from Seamless, with the aim of showcasing “up and coming producers who are on top of their game”. So a two-disc set from this Polish duo is a fine way to kick things off (even if some of us HAVE been propping them for a good couple of years now).

Wisely, Seamless haven’t insisted on a label-specific comp either, instead allowing Karol and Marek (as they’re known to their mums) to do their jobs as selectors unhindered. And it’s a job they perform impeccably. One look at the names involved either as artists or remixers – Till Von Sein, Evren Ulusoy, Aki Bergen, Sebastian Davidson, Manuel Tur, Submantra, Greg Stainer, Soul Minority – will tell you that this is a very fair summation of the current state of play in underground deep house circles, albeit with a definite slant towards European rather than US artists.

CD1 draws heavily on K&M’s own Loco label and is the techier of the two, CD1 is a little bit more straight-up housey… but both will rocking your stereo for some time to come, if you know what’s good for you.

Out: This week

About: Seamless have traditionally walked a fine line, turning out a mixture of deep, underground house and more commercial tackle. It seems to me that lately they’ve been concentrating more on the good stuff, but maybe that’s just what they sent me! Tell you what, go have a look at their website and decide for yourself...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Jim Choi & Daso - Teer

Jim Choi Daso TeerFairly archetypical Systematic bizniss here, so I guess what you think of it will depend on what you think of Marc Romboy’s label generallly. But if the label’s particular brand of techy house-come-housey techno is usually up your street, then this will be, too.

Teer is presented in three mixes: Edit, Quenum Remix and Rodriguez Jr Remix. The Edit bounces along in a not-making-a-show-of-it kinda fashion, and is topped off by an intriguing, if slightly incongrous-sounding ba-da-ba male vocal. Quenum’s rub is more overtly techno-flavoured, with an almost cavernous amount of space to the production and a more industrial kinda sound palette, while Rodriguez Jr goes for stuttery, bumpin’ riddims that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Derrick Carter set, and some luvverly Rhodes (er, I think) stabs.

But I’m over-complicating matters. Basically if you’re a Systematic fan (which I am, by the way), you’ll dig this… mos def and end of.

Out: This week

About: What bit of this being on Marc Romboy’s Systematic Recordings imprint had you failed to glean from the above? And so to their website and Soundcloud page.

Fine Squad & Gaffy - Step 2

Fine Squad Gaffy Step 2Despite the EP title, this is actually a split release, with Step 2 by Fine Squad on one side, and Gaffy’s Last Call plus a Yakine & Yaroslave Remix of Step 2 on the other.

Fine Squad's Step 2, then, is an insistent, driving houser that’s possibly a little too upbeat to really call ‘deep house’ but, y’know, is. Think Sueno Latino meets jazz meets a big bag of party Smarties on a dancefloor and you’re somewhere in the ballpark. The Yakine & Yaroslav Remix is a more reserved take that’s as suited to sofa-surfing as it is to rump-shaking; it loses the scat vox and adds some dark and twisted low-end techno drama towards the end.

And then finally Last Call is all thumping, near-tribal riddims, but topped off with some breathless boy-gal love talk, before it explodes into an Afro-disco freakout. There’s a lot to take in, all in the one track, but it’ll do the damage for sure, and you can see why the likes of Loco Dice have been propping this rising French producer for sure.

Out: This week

About: This comes atcha on Gaffy’s own label, 9am Recordings. Find ’em on MySpace

Monday, 16 May 2011

Boom Merchant - Gorilla EP

Boom Merchant Gorilla EPYesterday, my girlfriend asked me what ‘progressive house’ meant (bless her, she’s new). I said it was a style that emerged in the UK and Europe around 1991/92, and it was called ‘progressive’ because it was quite different from anything that had gone before it at the time… but that the term had become quite ironic, given that ‘prog’ as a sub-genre has probably changed less than any other over the past 15 years or so!

That’s not meant as a diss, necessarily: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, eh? Progressive house still has its millions of followers worldwide and at the end of the day, GOOD prog is just good house music, innit?

And so to the Gorilla EP from Boom Merchant, which is indeed good prog. Gorilla itself is a deep, warm-up affair, but with balls; Elephant’s Graveyard is a dark stomper in a Tenaglia kinda vein and Empty is a big dark roller with plenty of drama. Gorilla is the one for me but progressive house lovers (and there are millions of ‘em) should be happy with all three.

Out: This week

About: This is on a label who don’t crop up on here very often, Process Recordings. The label’s run by Herman Verkade who’s a thoroughly decent sorta chap, and you can find out more about ‘em

Boom Merchant, meanwhile, is called Kyle Thompson in real life, and you can find out more about HIM by visiting his own

Submantra - Calinda

Submantra CalindaJust in case you thought TIWWD had had a stroke or something... after the HK release below let's go straight back to the deeper end of the spectrum, with this latest from Craig Stewart's DCS Trax imprint.

For this one, we're talking proper dreamy soulful garage goodness in an NJ kinda style, like we used to y'know? Not much else to be said, this is the real deal! Seven mixes in total – it's all about the Soul Minority Remix if you ask me, but the rest come from K-Bana, Matt Flores and Q-Musse, the latter's very, very deep Instrumental picking up the TIWWD silver.

Out: This week

About: As stated this is on DCS Trax, based in the UK and run by Craig Stewart. Find 'em online here.

Lauer & Canard - Doo Wop

Gonna kick off the week with this one for surprise value alone! Hed Kandi take a lot of flak for peddling the more commercial/cheesy end of house music… which, to be fair, is pretty much what they do. But this latest offering from Lauer & Canard is actually all right, y'know.

It's still a bit 'big room', sure, and it's not exactly groundbreaking or anything. But with parping sax, scat vox and driving beats, it's an acceptable slab of jazzed-up, driving house all the same. You probably still wouldn't catch Phil Asher playing it… but someone like Tom Middleton or Norman Jay might.

Compared to most of Hed Kandi's output in recent years, like I said, it's quite a pleasant surprise.

Out: This week. Wednesday, to be precise.

About: If you're not in the UK I guess you might not know who Hed Kandi are so here's a link, just in the interests of impartiality and that.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A rather superstitious bootleg...

Got sent this yesterday by Pete Jordan, who's our warehouse reviewer at iDJ as well as being resident/promoter at the long-running Spectrum, superstar DJ in the making and all-round good egg. It's a rather cool bootleg of Stevie Wonder, Superstition - the Jordan & Santero Remix, to be precise.

Pete says: "A remix myself and Will did of Superstition a while back that has been in a lot of demand, just got its first Radio 1 play last week. Hope you like it."

No words from me as such but I rather like it as well. Download it here.

Out: Now, obviously...

About: Find out more about Mr Jordan's other shenanigans and goings-on by visiting his website

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Bluey - Synthetic Circles

Bluey Synthetic CirclesJust got this this morning but it's out already so might as well get it blogged straight away...

Not got massive amounts to say about Synthetic Circles, it's just a lush slice of deep D&B that sits somewhere between minimal and liquid funk, yet has enough going on in the way of firing (renegade) snares going on in the background to mean it never sounds wimpy. Just a little hint of old skool jungle vibes as well. Me like. On the B, Sophisicated Love is even better, a proper deep n' dreamy late night affair with sampled movie vox of some posh woman getting all lovelorna and sigh-y. The kind of thing you should play to girls who think they don't like drum & bass!

Out: This week so it's still fresh fresh fresh...

About: Bluey is UK chaperoonie Michael Affleck, presumably no relation to Ben and definitely not the guy that used to be in Incognito, and this is coming atcha on Canadian label Plush Recordings, who can be found online here.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Alex Kennon - 3 Days 2 Hours

alex kennon 3 days 2 hoursA pretty fine slab of tech-house here courtesy of Mr Kennon, about whom I know precisely nothing. Hell it could even be Ms Kennon for all I know. Oh no hang on, look - here's his Soundcloud. He's definitely a he, and he comes from Italy. There you go, I've learned something. Every day's a school day, eh?

If you clicked that link you've probably HEARD THIS by now already, and if you didn't click that link, you probably now will I've said that. So anything I say about the rolling beats and chopped-up vocals of 2 Hours, or the slightly more garage-y, soulful vocalled feel on 3 Days will be entirely superfluous now, won't it? Oops.

What shall we talk about instead? Erm, I just had a really nice piece of millionnaire's shortbread, if you're interested. But you're probably not.

Out: This week

About: I'd bought it yesterday in Greggs and forgot to eat it, y'see, so I stuck it in the biscuit tin when I got home and forgot about it. And then I was a bit peckish tonight and I thought, I don't THINK there are any biscuits, but I'll just have a look... and there it was.

Oh no, sorry, we've already ascertained you're not interested in the shortbread, haven't we? So yeah, about the label, this is on UK imprint Wired Music, for whom the only website I can find is their MySpace.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Geshe Ewing - Rose-Tinted

Geshe Ewing Rose-TintedRight, you all know how much I love Smiley Fingers by now. So much so it's embarrassing. But this latest release does nothing to change my mind.

Rose-Tinted itself is a proper heads' number, an uber-deep groover with pads galore but kicks and hi-hats that are driving enough for the floor at the same time. It doesn't 'do' huge amounts so if you need big cheesy builds and drops look elsewhere, if you're in love with grown-up, groovy house music you'll love it. End of.

On the B, Mr Ewing expresses his own love of house with another deeper-than-deep affair, this time with a heavily-treated spoken vocal that I thought at first was saying, "cellophane house" but eventually realised says, "I just say I play house: tech, tribal, deep, minimal"....

Well, here's to that, and here's to this tune (oh, which is in fact called I Play House by the way!) cos it really is a little cracker.

Out: This week

About: I told you before, I sleep on Smiley Fingers pillowcases, what can I say? Here's their website.

Poussez - Discuits

Poussez DiscuitsRight, I'm breaking all my own rules here cos strictly speaking this came in way too late. But for reasons I won't go into it's gonna get some TIWWD love anyway. And it is a very good record.

Just super-quickly, then... Big City Burning Rubber is a slow-groovin' affair with an Italo, and at times slightly 8-bit feel... Kyoto Electrics is straight-up dancefloor deep house out of the top drawer... Lost Childhood is another chilled, synthy nu-disco number... Marvin In The Disco is somewhere between deep house and nu-disco with a little bit of acid and a sampled vocal thrown in... and Discuits itself is a KILLER nu-disco-ISH slow jam with a female vocal that doesn't half sound like Kate Bush, but almost certainly isn't it.

Whether it's nu-disco, deep house or just generally chilled electronica that you're after, then, this EP is well worth checking. Even if it is nearly three weeks old.

Out: April 19!!!! But hey.

About: This is on Champion Standard for once, not the Poussez boys' own Artizan Music. Find 'em online here.

Simon Baker ft Debukas - No Pressure

The world and his brother seem to be going mad for Simon Baker at the moment, so I'm gonna keep this super-brief and just say that this is indeed rather good.

The original's a rolling, funked-out affair with something of a 'contemporary boogie' kinda feel and a Prince-ish vocal. Art Department's mix is a bit trendy Hoxton skinny jean for me but will play well to such types, however the killer for TIWWD's purposes today is Mr Baker's own Upstate Dub, which ups the dancefloor ante considerably with dubby horns, solid kicks and lingering synth washes a-gogo. Niceness.

Out: This week

About: This is of course on 2020Vision, and taken from Mr Baker's debut album Traces. Find out more here.

Various - The Extended Family Pt 2

Leftroom Extended FamilyAccording to the classic Bacharah & David song, what the world needs now is love, sweet love. Well, I disagree. What the world needs now is actually a MASSIVE FUCK-OFF ORGAN TUNE. And on this second installment in Leftroom's 'new talent' EP series, Laura Jones delivers just that in Love In Me. Freakin' ace.

The rest of the EP's pretty gosh-darned good as well, what with the deep garage vibes of Waifs & Strays' Yeah Yeah, Lazaro Casanova's driving, bouncy retro-house on I Got This Feeling and the jazzy Detroitian vibes of Julian Perez's Butterfly Conflict. In fact, I'd say it's a superb EP all round, all told.

But you can't beat a big throbbing organ, can you?

Out: This week. Buy it.

About: As I said, this is the second in a series of EPs from Matt Tolfrey's Leftroom imprint showcasing new production talent. And if there's this much of it around, then the future of house music is looking decidedly rosy. Here's the Leftroom website: it's getting a revamp at time of writing but you'll find some social media links to keep you going.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Franco Cinelli - Planet Dub EP

Franco Cinelli Planet Dub EPAnother winner from D'Julz's Bass Culture stable here, this time courtesy of Argentina's Franco Cinelli.

Four tracks in all, and you're looking at something that sits right on the house/techno border… and is deep and dubby, without being 'deep, dubby techno', if you see what I mean! IE, it's not like we're in Basic Channel territory or anything, these are just deep, heads-down grooves made for extended sets that take you through those hours between midnight and sun-up. And there's nothing wrong with that, now is there?

Home flips the script a little, being at touch more house-y and funkified… but only a touch. Still, while this latest isn't perhaps as much a must-have as other Bass Culture releases to date, it's nonetheless pretty damn good.

Out: This week, according to the promo I was sent. Or since April 12, according to the Bass Culture website. Not sure what happened there, then...

About: You can HEAR THIS and check out the rest of the Bass Culture catalogue at their Soundcloud page. And here's the website I was telling you about.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Kimara Lovelace - I Luv You More (Remixes)

Kimara Lovelace I Luv You MoreOut for a few weeks digitally but getting a vinyl release this week, this latest from the mighty King Street Sounds is a treat for those who like their house music in a more traditional deep n' soulful kinda vein.

And when I say that… this is properly "sumptuously deep n' soulful with a driving 4/4 beat", like we used to, not all wishy-washy and pseudo-Afro jazz, as seems to be the prevailing mood in 'soulful house' circles these days where they seem increasingly to be missing out the 'house' part! Check John Ciafone's Full Swing Dub for some driving chug with only light sprinklings of the vocal, or Sean McCabe's Main Vocal Remix for a soulful pass that'll please lovers of vintage west coast or even more vintage NJ. McCabe's rubs (there are four in total) have some ace jazz-funk geetar as well.

Out: This week

About: Should be fairly self-explanatory this one but here's the obligatory King Street website link.

Cavalier AKA Agnès - A Million Horses EP

Cavalier A Million HorsesOkay, after a weekend of which a very large part was spent ploughing through some 300+ promo emails and downloading new tuneage, we finally seem to be back up to speed so hopefully there'll be a bit more time for some blogging action this week! And what better way to kick off the week, than with a new EP from Zurich's ever-excellent Drumpoet Community?

Seems like ages since I had anything through from DPC so this six-track EP was a very welcome arrival in the inbox. Obviously there's some variation between the tracks, but in general the theme is deep house/deep techno of an experimental, leftfield, filmic nature, while Marwari and Kentucky Mountain Saddle venture into ambient territory.

Normally what I love DPC for the most are their more garage-y, bumpin' cuts, but this is quality late-night listening and well deserving of your attention, with the bass-rumbling Napoletano being my personal fave.

Out: This week

About: Drumpoet Community are, as I'm sure you know by now, part of the Compost stable. Find 'em online here.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Ping Trace - A Forest

Ping Trace A ForestSorry peeps, just realised it's been over a week AGAIN... where do the days go? In clashing magazine deadlines and camping weekends and buying secondhand computers that don't ruddy well WORK, that's where they go. Well, in this case it was.

Anyway still tearing-hair-out busy but couldn't leave you any longer or you'd think I didn't love you any more, and anyway it'd mean overlooking this, which is a very contemporary-sounding piece of post-triphop, post-prog, post-chillout, fuckitidontknow-post-manbloodypat electronica that also just happens to be, if you hadn't guessed, a cover of the classic by The Cure. Sung by a girl in a slightly breathy, torch-y style, but not in a horribly 'knowing' ironic kinda way, it's just how they do.

And it's moody and kinda sexy and just generally ace, so there. Go seek. There are four mixes but I'm back off to climbing my download mountain now... a WhyWeDancer's work is never done...

Out: This week

About: This is US label Terraform Records, and Ping Trace are from Denver. That much the hype sheet tells me, to find out more you can visit their website