Thursday, 30 June 2011

Snuff Crew - Basement Jams Vol 1

One last entry for June, then, before the clock strikes midnight. Sorry it's been a bit of a slack month for reviews, it's been one thing after another. But anyway…

Berlin's Snuff Crew back in action here, doing what they do best – retrofied acid house so you can party like it's 1988. Fat 303 basslines and militant 909 percussion abound across the EP's four tracks, and while you could accuse them of not really changing it up ever, you could also applaud them for sticking to their guns and doing what they do.

So that's what we're gonna do. Snuff Crew, This Is Why We Dance applauds you. This is ace. This is acieeed!

Out: It just says 'June'. So now, then.

About: This comes atcha on Paris's excellent Skylax Records, part of the Hardrock Striker stable. Find 'em on MySpace and Soundcloud.

Sydney & Lukez - Into Me

The latest from my boy Sydney, once again in company with the man who seems to be pretty much his regular production partner of late, Lukez.

Just the two mixes to tell you about with this one. The original is a driving tech-houser that starts out nice and deep and gets proggier as it goes on – ideal for warm-up purposes, then – while the Roman Rai mix is less about the epic/dramatic melody and more about crisp, sparkling percussion and a big, room-filling bassline.

It's the latter that's floating my boat the most I think, but both will do the damage.

Out: This week

About: This comes of course on Sydney's own Tokyo Red Recordings, who those of you that are paying attention will remember provided us with a rather excellent iDJ cover CD a few months back. You can find out all you need to know about Tokyo Red by visiting their MySpace or Sydney's own website.

SumSuch - My Keepsake

First thing I've had through in a while from Etoka, as far as I can recall, but there's no let-up in quality from the Liverpudlian deep/tech house imprint here.

You get six tracks in all on this EP, with three mixes apiece of the title track and Underwear Model. Alvaro Hylander's deeper, groovier take on the latter wins out over the more soundscape-y/abstract Original and Harold Heath rubs, for me, and indeed is probably my fave cut on the whole EP, while as for the mixes of My Keepsake itself, it's Mr Heath's time to shine, though the Mr Cenzo and Leigh Morgan mixes ain't half bad either.

Out: This week on Beatport only, then everywhere else in four weeks' time

About: Find out more about the excellent Etoka stable here.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Alvaro Ernesto - Magdalena

I've got a gripe with this one… but I'll save that for the 'About' bit.

First, let me tell that this is just a fine and dandy little house/tech-house chugger that will serve your dancefloor nicely. It may not inspire you to put a comment below saying, "My God, this is the most ground-breaking and innovative piece of music production since Sgt Pepper's," admittedly, but then, not every record has to, does it?

No, it doesn't. Moving booties on floors is a large part of what house is all about, and this'll do that nicely. Three mixes on offer, and Dompe's is just a touch more bumpin' and funk-fuelled than the Original or the DJ Raid Mix, so that's the one I'd plump for, but any of one of the three will work on the floor without a doubt.

Out: This week

About: Okay, I did say I had a grumble… but it's not with the record, it's with the name of the label. There's just really no need to call yourself Shitfuck Records, is there? It just smacks of silly teenagers giggling about how WILD! and ZANY! they are to me – see also Fuckpony, nights advertising "fuckstep and shitcore", Shitmat Records, FuckButtons, yada yada yada… who precisely, in 2011, do these people think they're shocking? Yawn.

That's not to say Shitfuck don't put out some good records though, cos they do... or that I've got anything against them personally, or that I'm saying you shouldn't buy their shit… fuck, no! (teehee). Here's their website and, guys, I wish you all the very best! Just expressing an opinion here... and hey, maybe I'm outta step with the kids of today, what do I know? Maybe I should have called this blog Piss Is Wank We Twat, and all the skinny-jeaned little oiks would love me, and I'd be on and all that. But, y'know, I'm not gonna.

Various - Deep House Sessions Vol 1 EP

A fine little sampler here from this US label who I think are a) based in Chicago and b) at least in some way affiliated to, if not run by, Alexander East. I could be wrong but that's what I'm guessing.

What we have are four cuts from the soulful end of the jazzy spectrum coming from the artists Castillo, Face, 3C and Jennifer Perryman in various combinations. If you dig the kind of grown-up, sophisticated soulful sounds of the likes of Stephanie Cooke, Ananda Project or Jody Watley when she gets her house on, you'll find nothing to grumble about with Free (presented here in a mix by Glenn Underground) or Love's Wine (a Demarkus Lewis mix excursion, this one), while the vocal-phobic can head instead for the excellent Dream State (Intensity of Sound's Smoking Jazzy House Version).

Overall it's one for lovers of traditional US deep/soulful house rather than the Berlin tech kiddies, for sure… but since when was there anything wrong with that?

Out: This week

About: See above – I don't know huge amounts about 3345 Music, though from the looks of their website they're certainly no newcomers to the game…

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Groove Junkies - Rhythm Talks

Been a while I must say since I've reviewed anything from the Groove Junkies.... no reason, just timing of releases, n' that. But anyway, here they are again now (or rather he is again now, seeing as it's just Evan these days) with Rhythm Talks, which is actually credited (as you'll see from the sleeve) to Groove Junkies pres Louis Hale feat Peggi Blu.

As seems to be the way with the GJs there's a pretty substantial remix rolecall, with no fewer than seven rubs on offer. Gonna rattle through 'em pretty quickly but the original is straight-up trad soulful house, the two Deep Afro mixes shouldn't need much explaining, Angell Vitorre & RJ Spinher's emphasis the spoken vocal to take us into that whole 'deep house plus poetry' arena, Christopher Wilde supplies a more laidback, beatdown-style take and then finally, the brace of GJs Mo Hump passes add a little disco energy for the dancefloor.

It's between the original and the Mo Hump Instrumental for me, but Wilde's mix is interesting as well.

Out: This week

About: As ever this is on More House, the Groove Junkies' own label… find 'em online and HEAR THIS here.

Olivaffair - Generations EP

The debut release from a new UK label – always worth shouting about in TIWWD's eyes.

The Generations EP comprises three tracks in vinyl form, four if you buy the digital release. Bad Rendition is bumpin' dancefloor deep house, Generations itself is more your late-night sofa surfer with spoken vocal samples, while Last Stand makes me think Olivaffair misspent at least some of his youth dancing in fields as the sun came up… best of all, all three feature the kind of fat analogue bass that's graced great British dance music ever since the days of LFO and Tricky Disco. Digital buyers also get a Luke Pompey Remix of Last Stand, which ups the dancefloor ante with tuffer percussion while toning down the sunny Balearic vibe a little.

A very strong debut release indeed, show some love people!

Out: This week (30 June to be precise)

About: This comes atcha on the brand spankin' new Definite Ridge Records, who are based in the somewhat unlikely location of Barnoldswick (a tiny little town now technically in Lancashire that was part of Yorkshire until 1974 and is still regarded as such by locals, geography and local govt fans). The label's run by Olivaffair himself, AKA Leigh Oliver, and this is their very firstest release ever, but there's more in the pipeline and they've got their new media presence pretty impressively locked down already cos here's their website, Soundcloud and Facebook.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Lonya & Aruba - Cannibals

The latest from the ever-excellent Elevation Recordings, who seem to back to their usual prolific form after a quiet spell that followed the 50th release album.

As with a lot of Elevation stuff, Cannibals could be described either as deep house with prog leanings, or as the deepest prog you've ever heard. But what do labels matter when the music's as good as this? Mixes come from Superluminal, Daniell Spencer (x2), Audio Junkie and Bubba & T-Bone... they don't vary hugely TBH but I think Audio Junkies' rub would be my pick.

Out: Today

About: I've got a bit of a guilt thing going on here… Elevation were meant to be on the list of 'labels to watch' in the 'Rising Stars of Deep & Tech House' feature I did in iDJ recently, but somehow they fell off. Sorry Darran! But anyway, they're based in Galway, Ireland and they release great records, nuff said. Check 'em out on Soundcloud and Facebook

Thomas Nawrath - Hey Yah

Another one that came out late last week, but again only on Friday. It's from a producer I don't know a lot about as well – all I can tell you is that he's "a young German producer". But aren't they all,
these days?

What I can tell you, though, is that in its original form, Hey Yah is a bouncy slab of tech-house complete with a big silly grin, that's certain to inject some energy into less po-faced floors. It comes backed up with a JFTH Knock Knock Remix which tones down the toytown rave silliness a notch or three and is instead more yer basic heads-down chugger, and with Moogs, which kinda sits somewhere between the two.

All told, some decent dancefloor techy bizniss from, er, this young German producer…

Out: Now

About: Come to think of it, I don't know much about Wired who this is on, either, except that they're based in that London. They just send me stuff with a minimum of hype, which is good, and a minimum of info, which is less good... and they're a bitch to find online. But because I love you, here's their Soundcloud page.

Masahiro Suzuki - Wondazloop

This actually came out on Friday, but what the hey.... it's not like I've been exactly bang on-the-ball with releases for the past few weeks, is it? Got a working computer again now though so hopefully that'll change!

Wondazloop is the latest release on the reborn Black Vinyl label and comes from the boss of Tokyo's DMR Imports record shop (it says here). It features sampled spoken word vox from the US civil rights era (I think), a cheeky Nightwriters sample, and a little dash of jazz thrown in for good measure. There's a lot going on over its five minutes 54 seconds, but it's good. On the B, Red Criola is a more uptempo, jaunty, jazzy, piano-led affair made for moving booties on dancefloors of the cheese-free variety. It's also got hints of Afro percussion... but not in a horribly noodly way.

Good to see BV back and doing what they do best: delivering underground bombs with scant regard for fashion, trends or all the other bullshit that goes with this industry.

Out: Now (but only for three days)

About: Black Vinyl are now based in sunny Antigua, don'tchaknow? Here's their new Facebook page which seems to be their primary cyberhome at the mo'.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

My laptop died :-(

Right, I know I promised to get the blog ball rolling properly again this week... and I had every intention of doing. In fact, I sat down on Tuesday to do just that... and my much-loved MacBook Pro (4.5 years old) just died on me. Kaput. It is an ex-laptop. It has ceased to be.

In the process of getting stuff sorted out (like trying to rescue the month's work of downloads that were on it) but please bear with in the meantime!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Christophe – The Force

Christophe The ForceThis one comes at you on Futureboogie, about whom more below! But as for the release itself… well yeah, 'future boogie' does pretty much cover it, as we take a trip back to the early 80s but in a 21st century kinda way.

SO, the original of The Force is essentially all about a big squelchy analogue bassline of the kind that emerged in the early 80s electrofunk era and was last heard during the early days of acid house. You then get a Julio Bashmore Piano Mix, in which the bassline squelch is dropped and instead there's lots of… well, yes, piano, in a vaguely Balearic kinda fashion. Lukas' rub is a more dubbed-out take on the original, and finally PBR Streetgang (AKA the Leeds-based duo of Bonar Bradberry and Tom Thorpe) serve up a mix that's also mostly kinda like the original, but has a slightly proggy feel too, in the manner of all that 'Scandolearic' bizniss.

It's a strong EP all round, but for me the Original or Lukas win out – gotta love those early 80s basslines.

Out: This week

About: Futureboogie the label is only two releases old, but Futureboogie the club night has been running in TIWWD's home of Bristol for years (the best part of a decade, in fact). Promoted by former iDJ scribe Steve 'Joe90' Nickoll, they started out pushing bruk beat and nu-jazz at a night called Seen but in recent years have gone more down the nu-disco route… and you can find out all about their many and varied adventures by clicking here. Apologies Mr N if any of the history is a bit garbled!

Tensnake – Something About You

Tensnake SomethingYou probably know all about this one already, it's been picking up a lot of heat what with it being the follow-up to Coma Cat and all. So I won't say too much except to say that it is indeed a monster of a track – less commercial than Coma Cat perhaps, but all the better for it.

A proper BIG house tune, with old skool pianos, a phat-assed b-line and a vocal hook you'll be singing all day. Nuff said

Out: This week

About: This is on Marco Tensnake's own label Mirau. Find 'em online here

Stanny Abram – The Zoo EP

Stanny Abram The ZooOkay, I know things have been a bit slack on here lately – I've been stoopid busy elsewhere I'm afraid – but this week we're gonna get that blog ball well and truly rolling again, I promise! So let's kick off with this three-tracker from Stanny Abram, a name that's been making waves on the underground deep/tech house circuit of late.

Taking the tracks one by one, then… lead cut Zoo Land works vocal snippets over a mid-paced, rolling groove. Buck Fifty is a slightly more lively affair with female snips, movie samples, some discreet jazz sax and a BIG bassline thundering along beneath it all. And finally Hand Of Zooka is more upbeat again, this time with an Afro-tinged rhythm and, again, a large, whomping b-line.

Any one of 'em will keep deeper dancefloors moving nicely.

Out: Tomorrow (June 21)

About: This is on What Happens – their first appearance on here for a while. Find out more about this ace Danish imprint run by my boy Tim Andresen here (Resident Advisor) and here (MySpace)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Last week's releases - round-up

Hi pop-pickers, remember me? I used to write a dance music blog called This Is Why We Dance, only then I had a big gig on for someone else, and I went off to Cornwall and ooh, all sorts. So I didn't for a bit. But, had I been writing on this blog for the past seven days, here are the records I would have been propping…

South-West Seven - We Do EP (Autodeep)
Various/Yousef - Yousef Circus Reworks (Circus Recordings)
Alex Douche - Stories EP (Conya Digital)
Arnaud Le Texier - Make It Till Monday EP (Bass Culture)
Carlos Francisco & Roachman - 15 Minutes Of Fame (SP Recordings)
Nico Lahs - Clouded Visions EP - (Ovum)
Philthy Phonics - The Return EP (Ready Mix Records)
Ramorae - Conceptual Reality (Modifi Music)
Rayner & Wisqo - Disco Hooligan (Endemic Digital)
Rio Padice - Woodland (Claque Music)
Sinan Kaya - I Can't Wait For The Weekend EP (Unrivaled Music)
Tom Conrad ft Dawn Tallman - So Happy (Adaptation Music)
Various - Elektrik Souljah Sampler Vol 1 (Elektrik Soul)
Vato Gonzalez - Badman Riddim (Ministry Of Sound) (!)
Woods & Luyo feat Marica - Night Train (Tony Records)

Get googling…

Monday, 6 June 2011

Terry Lynn - Fire

A bit more fierce and abrasive than might normally feature on TIWWD, this slab of electro-tinged grime/dubstep is getting some love for two reasons:

1. You can keep all your posturing E17 'bad gyals' who go home after a hard day's 'grind' on 'road' to snuggle up in front of Britain's Got Talent with a big box of All-Gold.... Terry Lynn is the real deal from Kingston, JA. If you want hard-hitting lyrics that reflect the trials and tribulations of life in an ACTUAL ghetto, her 'Kingstonlogic 2.0' album from a year or two back is a must-have.

2. This single is produced by High Rankin', who very kindly supplies iDJ with a column every month so it's the least I can do to prop this!

Out: This week

About: Find out all you need to know about the talented Ms Lynn here

Friday, 3 June 2011 - When A Nerd Hits The Floor EP When A Nerd Hits The FloorHow can you not love an EP called that?! I figured we'd do this one next as it's very different from the Anthony Mansfield release below, being a much more tech-house kinda thang.

Five tracks in total, featuring Markus '' Ferdinand himself plus various collaborators - Patrick Kunkel, Chris Vogt, Harold Todd and Mz Sunday Luv. Not gonna go into all of them individually but if it's dark-ish, heads-down, driving grooves for underground dancefloors you're after, you'll be more than satisfied with this, with Mz Sunday Luv's bitch-diva vocal on God Damn Fucking Groupies raising a smile with its echoes of the mid-90s 'Vasquez vs Tenaglia' era. The Harold Todd spoken vocal on A Little Saxophone Story is pretty cool, too.

Out: This week

About: This comes atcha on We Play Minimal, so is proof that the German label do a lot more than just play minimal these days! Web-wise, you'll mostly find 'em on MySpace.

Anthony Mansfield - Tales From The Gulch EP

Four tracks of groovy, lo-slung and slightly leftfield nu-disco here, courtesy of Sleazy McQueen's Whiskey Disco label.

The standout is My First Mistake, a re-edit credited to V/A of an old Chi-Lites song (not that it sounds hugely like the original at all, having done away with the rather cheesy chorus). But the other three tracks – all originals – are pretty good too. Not 100% convinced by the vocal on Cosmic Annie but Most Wanted has a dark, quirky charm – think 50s girl groups by way of Blue Velvet and a fistful of noxious chemicals – while Body Fusion is sheer is a proper call to the dancefloor and no mistake, guv'nor.

If you dig that Horse Meat Disco vibe, then this will be right up your alley (and you can stop that puerile sniggering right THERE, thank you).

Out: This week

About: Actually, I say 'Sleazy McQueen's label' but before anyone comes on here to point out I've got that wrong, the hype sheet just says they're 'loosely connected to Sleazy McQueen and his assorted cohorts'. But anyway it's to Sleazy's own website I'm told you should head for more info, so there.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Dante & Remmy – Escape

Dante & Remmy EscapeSome straight-up summery house goodness here from Dante & Remmy, who I'll confess are new names to me though they've apparently had stuff out on Dirty Deluxe before so I should have come across them (as well as releases on Deeperfect and Six Sound Records, it says here).

Anyway, regardlesss of D&R's pedigree/CV, like I said what you have here are just some solid chugging house grooves. The Original Mix of Escape is the most shiny-summery of the three, with 'house music' vocal samples and a driving, rush-inducing kinda feel. Philippe O's remix is more of the same but accentuates the Loleatta-esque screams and organs, while Darren Marshall's goes the other way and tones things down a little for the more underground floors/DJs.

Truth be told, though, the three mixes don't vary hugely, and any of 'em would do when you're reaching for a reliable house cut to keep the floor moving without taking too many dramatic twists.

Out: This week

About: Find out more about Dirty Deluxe Records here.

Marten Fisher – Wasted Screens

Marten Fisher Wasted ScreensThe first in a while from Amsterdam's 90Watts comes from Marten Fisher, best known (it says here) for his progressive house label Dub=records.

There's not a lot either progressive or dubby about this EP, though! Instead we're firmly in tech-house territory, with Wasted Screens itself coming on a bit like 2nd Toughest-era Underworld doing deep house. Sweet Sax isn't the soulful, musical joint you might expect but instead more of a 'driving through the Bladerunner set at night'-type moody chugger; Grazend Shaap is another slab of moody, cinematic deep techno, before the excellent Concrete Noise brings the EP to a close, a 4am deep house joint with a whispered vocal intoning “this is the sound of Amsterdam.”

Proper bizniss that'd be equally at home on the sofa or on the more discerning dancefloors.

Out: This week

About: You must know about 90Watts by now, I put 'em in the 'rising stars of deep/tech house' feature I did for iDJ and everything :-)

But just in case, here's their website...

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Oli Furness – Why Oh Why

Oli Furness Why Oh Why“Deep and tech house vibes meet jazzy moods and a touch of the old school warehouse sounds,” is how the hype sheet describes this one. Which is as quick and lazy a way of kicking off a review as I guess you'll find!

But yeah… house music for the louche-ward leaning and indolently inclined is pretty much the order of the day on the original of Why Oh Why. You get three mixes of it, though, plus bonus cuts 7 Inches and For You, though, so no slacking on the part of Mr Furness, who I gather is based in sunny Manchesterford-On-Sea. Soulplate's take on Why Oh Why is a little more upbeat and has that warm, sumptuous soulful kinda vibe (and lashes of extra sax) while Viper Strike's rub is in more of a late-night, sofa-sinking vein. 7 Inches is in a similar kinda deep house vein, and then For You brings the EP to a close with something a touch more wigged-out and dark room.

All told, a very solid offering from such a newbie artist/producer.

Out: This week

About: This is on Cardiff-based label Pole Position, which is owned by one Gareth Coates… who also happens to go by the name of Viper Strike. Funny, that! Anyway, you can HEAR THIS if you visit their Soundcloud page.

Frederico Todos – The Moment

Any readers who did Spanish at school (or just anyone who speaks Spanish, I guess!) will probably have twigged it already – this is a stealth release from Quebec's Fred Everything, going undercover here for Leigh Morgan's Urban Torque label.

And what a fine release it is too, as Fred flirts with deep house, nu-disco and hints of classic Balearica to produce a lazily uplifting musical concoction that's tailor-made for sun-ups and sun-downs. His original is accompanied by a deeper, Chi-town sounding dub, and then further complemented by a remix from Mattias Vogt which builds in an epic, Garnier-esque fashion and adds some treated spoken male vox (“I just wanna ask the question, where would I be?”).

To complete the four-track EP you get a Fred Everything Edit of the Vogt Remix, but Fred editing Matthias's remix of Fred is just a bit confusing so we'll leave it there for now. But yeah, The Moment – s'good. Original all the way for me but it's up to you, of course.

Out: This week

About: As I said this is on Leigh Morgan's long-running UK label Urban Torque. You can find them online here, while newcomers should also check out Fred's own label Lazy Days, who recently celebrated their fifth birthday.

I think that's, er, everything...