Monday, 31 December 2012

So many tunes, so little time 35

Here we are then, the last day of 2012. And for once, what with it being Xmas and hence a quiet week for releases, I actually got through most of the stuff I wanted to tell you about last week… but here are a few other bits n' bobs that are worthy of your attention.

Claes Rosen Starlight Spring Tube
First up is Claes Rosen's Starlight. You may remember this spangly, Balearic-leaning and slightly poppy nu-disco gem from a Spring Tube V/A sampler back in the spring… if not no worries cos it's now getting a full single release complete with new mixes from Acryl boss Da Funk, Latvia's Blood Groove & Kikis and Chile's Aerotek. For deeper thrills, it's the BG&K and Da Funk rubs you want to be heading for.

Georgia Cee Soul World EP Soul Town Records
Next, the Soul World EP comes from Georgia Cee and is the first release on a brand new Italian label called Soul Town Records. Georgia was 'discovered' by Timmy Regisford and has worked with Quentin Harris, which should give you a pretty good idea what to expect here… as the hype sheet says, "fans of Shelter and Body & Soul, rejoice"! Of the EP's four Latin-tinged cuts, Fallin' Down stands out for me.

Losing Rays Ir.Replaceable Incepto Smooth
On an even mellower tip, Ir.Replaceable comes from Losing Rays on Incepto Smooth, and is a beautiful slice of downtempo/ambient electronica topped off with a blissed-out female vocal… with B-side Touch venturing even further into all-out ambience.

Lyle Quach Check This Out Yellowjax
At the other end of the spectrum, Lyle Quach is a producer you can always count on for some jacking deep/tech house grooves and Check This Out is no exception. Pascal Daze's remix goes a little harder/techier, Aldo Del Rey's a little deeper, so a range of floors should find it in themselves to move to this one, which comes on New York's Yellowjax Recordings.

Agari Tachi Malicious Section 8 Dub
Finally, a couple of nuggets on a D& B/dubstep tip. Coming on Section 8 Dub, Agari Tachi by Malicious is as deep, dark and minimal as it gets, and definitely worth checkin. B-side Peter Kurten collab Mitochondrion is a little too hard and industrial-sounding for these ears, but not to worry because there are more deep, minimal D&B delights to be found on the Tenderness EP by Mechanical Pressure, a two-tracker coming from the ever-checkable Plush Recordings.

Mechanical Pressure Tenderness Plush Recordings
And that, dear readers, is it for 2012. I'd do some big end-of-year spectactular but, y'know, places to go, people to see, etc. So it just remains for me to wish you a most exuberant NYE and I'll see you on the other side… and DO check back tomorrow cos I've got some very exciting news for ya.

Happy new year!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Various – One Year Of Frole

One Year Of Frole Frole Records
A couple of weeks back I reviewed a single by Desos on Frole Records, which was the first time I'd heard of the Italian label. Following that review they very kindly sent me this compilation, which is being released to mark them reaching their first birthday.

I'm very glad they did, too, because this rocks. "Proper deep house in various shades" is the basic story, supplied mostly by artists you probably haven't heard of (unless you're more on-the-ball than I am, of course!) by with some familiar names – Kevin Griffiths, Moodymanc, Hector Couto, The Echonomist – cropping up on remix duties. Ellroy's Everything, which does strange, downtuned things to Whitney's Love Will Say The Day vocal, is one highlight; Echonomist's early 90s-tastic refix of Kevin McCallister's Swing Piomb is another, LDF vs Lostrocket's Loose In Mind yet another. Oh, and Gastek's laidback, organ-flecked Grey Crystal another.

You getting the idea yet? When I say "this rocks," I mean it rocks from start to finish. Go seek.

Out: This week

About: You can find Frole Records at their website, on Facebook or on Soundcloud.

Sunshine Jones – We Are What We Are/Come To Me

Sunshine Jones We Are What We Are King Street
A new EP from Dubtribe Soundsystem man Sunshine Jones here – and one that might surprise you.

Because on We Are What We Are it's OUT! with the winsome, soulful loveliness and IN! with a big chunky b-line, tuff beats and a spoken male, poetry-style vocal. Come To Me, presented here in two mixes from Nicko Vee and Jones himself, similarly sees him looking to contemporary European sounds for inspiration.

Both tracks are taken from Jones' recent Belle Ame Electronique album, which came out in November and which I must admit got overlooked when it landed – I was busy and, y'know, I'd had enough of all that winsome soulful loveliness, truth be told. On the evidence of this EP, I'm gonna need to go back and check that album again…

Out: This week

About: This comes on King Street Sounds, who live here and here (web, Soundcloud)

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Ruben Mandolini – Slevin

Ruben Mandolini Slevin Snatch!
More dancefloor-oriented tech-house frolics here, courtesy of Riva Starr's Snatch! label and Italian producer Ruben Mandolini.

Both Slevin itself and Forget About It are hi-octane, prime-time pumpers with more than a hint of disco, while Fonky Death works a more stripped-down, jackin' groove altogether. The latter's also accompanied by a drum-tastic 'DJ tool' mix.

I've love Fonky Death more, were it not for the angry-sounding man who keeps shouting "Funky crowd out there!" in a rather annoying fashion. Even taking him into account, though, what we have here are three solid bets when you need to keep 'em moving.

Out: This week

About: You can find Snatch! on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their website.

OR'L – Confusion EP

OR'L Confusion F*** House Music
A five-tracker here from France's OR'L on F*** House Music that, as is often the label's wont, fuses (deep) house and (nu) disco vibes.

Confusion itself leads the charge, a low-slung, pulsing, sleazy nu-disco groover with a wibbly, trippy synth topline reminiscent of N-Joi's Anthem. Bougie Solitaire is house with disco edges and reminds me a bit of Direckt's 2 Fat Guitars in a weird kinda way, while Tools 890 is a more straight-up deep/tech house jam with some jazzy, lounge-y flourishes.

Finally, you get two mixes of Disco Sluts: the original's long on space disco synths and wukka-wukking geetars underpinned by a solid, if understated walking b-line, while Will Berridge flips the script and turns it into a dubby, afterhours excursion that for me is actually the pick of a very fine EP.

Time to get your shimmy on, peeps!

Out: This week

About: You can find F*** House Music (sister label to Sleazy Deep, dontchaknow?) on Facebook and Soundcloud, or at their own website.

Groovebox – Gangster

Groovebox Gangster Deeperfect
Needn't detain you long with this one, cos what we have here are some straight-up pumpin' tech-house grooves aimed fair and square at the dancefloor. And once you've said that, what else is there to say?

I guess I could tell you that the track's predicated (vocally) around that Henry Hill "as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster" sample from Goodfellas. And I could tell you that the original's a bass-y, push-y affair while the Johnny Kaos remix strips things back a few notches to fashion a vaguely Sneak-y roller.

But yeah, "pumpin' tech-house grooves aimed fair and square at the dancefloor" just about covers it.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Italy's Deeperfect, who are quite good at all that tech-house malarkey, y'know. Find 'em on Soundcloud or Facebook, or hit up the home page of parent label Sound4Group.

KANT – Burn, Hurt, Touch EP

KANT Burn, Hurt, Touch EP Gartenhaus
An EP of typically cerebral/leftfield house grooves here from Denmark's Gartenhaus.

Just to make life a bit easier, the three words in the EP title are actually the names of the three tracks involved. Burn is a dubby, chuggy deep/tech affair, but definitely one more aimed at discerning grown-ups rather than dancefloor drug monkeys; Touch is an ever-so-slightly more upbeat number with subtle disco stabs and a nice big throbbing b-line.

But the standout, as with yesterday's Switchbox single (below), is a cut that draws heavily on a classic from days gone by. In this instance, it's the slow-pulsing, Balearically-tinged Hurt, which lifts a hefty chunk of vocal from Carly Simon's Why. To great effect, it must be said!

Out: This week

About: You can find Gartenhaus on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Paolo Marturano – I'll Be Waiting For You

Paulo Marturano I'll Be Waiting For You Muchiq
Seems like a while since we heard from Chester-based Muchiq Records, but here they come again now with a surefire floorburner courtesy of Italy's Paulo Marturano.

There are three mixes to choose from. The Original is a deep, techy house throbber with one SERIOUSLY chunky b-line, a neat wibbly synth topline and a male voice intoning "I'll be waiting for you, there's nothing else I can do." One to drop in those heads-down, locked-on moments in the wee small hours. The Forshure Remix ups both the BPM and the tech factor a notch or two, while Dansco's rub adds busier percussion to give the track a driving, proggy, almost tribal feel; both retain that same mantra-like vocal.

It's the original that stands out for me, but with the other two mixes in tow you've got the ammunition to slay a range of floors. Go get 'em.

Out: This week

About: You can find Muchiq on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Mirock – Hot Ice Cream EP

Mirock Hot Ice Cream EP Artefact Records
Two tracks of muscular, jackin', funk-fuelled house/techno here, courtesy of Macedonian producer Mirock.

Hot Ice Cream itself is the techier of the two cuts, an uncompromising fierce rulin' diva of a tune that you could equally well imagine hearing early doors at Trade back in the glory days, or at 6am in some dubious warehouse now. Er, probably. Complications, on the other side, is a tad housier but just as fierce and firing.

Both should serve your dancefloor-moving purposes admirably.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Artefact Records, who are also from Macedonia and who can be found on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Switchbox – When It's Hot

Switchbox When It's Hot Open Records
Three very different mixes on offer on this newie from German duo Switchbox.

In its Original form, When It's Hot is a midtempo, lolloping deep/tech groove with one of those currently trendy treated vocals ("when it's hot, you must go outside"), while a remix from Australia's Jamie Stevens takes us into more plinky-plonky wonky experimental techno pastures. The reason it's here, though, is the remix from French twosome Solead, which transforms the track into a squelching synth bass-astic nu boogie workout, then puts the vocal from Rick James's Give It To Me Baby over the top.

It's only reasonably clever, perhaps. But it is definitely is BIG.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Open Records, who can be found here or on Facebook.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Sound Gypsy – Way I Feel EP

Sound Gypsy Way I Feel EP Sleazy Deep
Having warmed up with all that deep stuff, time to move towards the floor now with this latest from Sound Gypsy, aka Dobara Music boss Harsh Puri.

There are three tracks in a total of six mixes, so you can't fault this one in the VFM stakes! Way I Feel itself is in its original form a chunky deep/tech houser, done in that very 'now' stylee but tempered with soulful vocal samples and killer space disco stabs. SION's remix then dubs things right out in quite a satisfying fashion.

The original version of Just Like That has more of those ace stabs over a more upbeat backing, with some rave-y keyboard stabs thrown in for good measure, while the Rafael Cerato remix heads off again into dubbier but this time also into slightly proggier territories. Havens & Hart perform a similar dubby trick with Everybody Keep On Movin' but here it's the original that stands out for me – a wicked little slice of soulful, disco-fied deep house done properly, with boogie-era male vox and lashings of fat bass.

So that's: Just Like That for the youngsters, the original of Everybody Keep On Movin' for the older heads and SION's rub of Way I Feel for the sofa surfers. Everybody's happy!

Out: This week

About: This comes on Sleazy Deep, who can be found on Facebook and Soundcloud or at their own website.

Geometriae – Subtransformer EP

Geometriae Subtransformer EP CPH Undersound
We stay in Denmark, and stay on a very deep tip, with this three-track EP from Danish producer Geometriae.

"Dub-based techno and deep ambient soundscapes," is how the hype sheet describes Geometriae's style, and they're not wrong. Dubbermann is a bassy, spacey dub techno excursion, Strings Of Space is a sparser, more cinematic/atmospheric ride, while Subtransformer itself is slightly more 'dancefloor', but no less deep n' dubby for it.

Lights out, lay back and enjoy. Nuff said.

Out: This week

About: This comes on a label I don't think have featured on here before, CPH Undersound. Find 'em on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Distortion Inc – Echo Of Tape

Distortion Inc Echo Of Tape DeepWit Uncovered
We stay in pastures uber-deep now with this newie from Denmark's ever on-point DeepWit Uncovered.

In fact, Echo Of Tape marks one of the label's deepest excursions yet, and that's saying something! Across the EP's three tracks, then, expect warm pads, muted percussion, disembodied vocal snips, tinkling minor-key jazz piano licks – you know the story – all at a tempo that means this EP is best filed somewhere between slo-mo and ambient. And that makes it perfect for those moments when you just want to lean back, shut your eyes and drift off into inner space.

Out: This week

About: You can find the DeepWit crew on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Fraser Owen & Thom Norton – Dominos

Fraser Owen & Thom Norton Dominos Savoir Faire Musique
Well, that turned out to be a slightly longer Xmas break, blog-wise, than I intended… sorry bout dat. But here we are again now, with this latest from Savoir Faire Musique.

It's a three-track affair, with Owen and Norton supplying a track apiece and collaborating on a third. The joint effort is the title track Dominos itself, a bassy deep chugger with disembodied, echoing vocal samples and luxurious muted kicks. Owen's solo offering is Polaris, a slightly more jaunty number with garage-y organ stabs and an unhurried feel, while Norton gives us Just Beyond The Trees, a deeper-than-deep ride with a male, spoken vocal that's reminiscent of the mighty Gil Scott-Heron.

If you like it a little bit tech-y and very deep, this EP is seriously worthy of your attention. Just Beyond The Trees, in particular, is a killer.

Out: This week

About: You can find Savoir Faire Musique on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Evan Iff – Sweet Babe

Evan Iff Sweet Babe Something Different
Finally for today, we move back into deep house territory with the latest from Jesus Pablo & Di Riviera's Something Different.

In its Original form, Sweet Babe is an interesting mix of influences: the soulful vocal's classic west coast, while the synths and percussion come from a more contemporary deep/tech school of thought. Mix-wise there's a self-explanatory Dub and a typically fine rub from Matches, who puts the vocal through the FX mangle and sparses things right up while adding lots of shuffly top-end. But taking top honours for me is Malin Genie, who gives (give?) us a deeper, sultrier rub.

You won't go wrong with any of 'em, to be fair. But Malin Genie is the one for me here.

Out: This week

About: You can find Something Different on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Jonny Love House – Alfresco Disco

Jonny Loves House Alfresco Disco
Staying firmly in dancefloor territory, here we have the latest from rising UK producer Jonny Loves House.

It's a four-track affair. Bounce is big, squelchy and lightly disco-fied, and wouldn't have sounded out of place on Credence back in the day. Matter is pacier and techier, Loose pairs a strident, techy riddim with slightly housier leads, while finally Even If – the pick of the crop for me – is all about the big fat bassline, which is augmented by (quite poppy) female vocal snatches and wonky, off-kilter keys.

Should you be of a mind to jack your body this festive season, these four tracks will serve as musical accompaniment admirably.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Jonny's own self-titled label… they live here and here (website, Soundcloud). And also in Brighton, if you must always live so relentlessly in the real world.

Dave Martins – Natural

Dave Martins Natural Southpark Records
The latest here from Switzerland's Southpark Records, who've definitely been on something of a roll this past few months.

Label co-founder Dave Martins is the man at the controls, with remixes taken care of by Kenny Ground and Hector Couto. Martins' original of Natural is an atmospheric tech-houser with a touch of deep prog around the edges, Kenny Ground's remix rides much more strident percussion while Hector Couto's rub, the standout for me, filters the drums and takes us into deeper territory.

Another solid dancefloor bet.

Out: This week

About: You can find Southpark Records on Facebook, on Soundcloud or at their own website.

Darren Marshall – Groove Like This EP

Darren Marshall Groove Like This EP Kozmik Hype
More jackin' tech-house grooves here courtesy of Canadian producer Darren Marshall.

Unlike the very drummy Bimas release below though, here the emphasis is more firmly on the house side of the equation. Groove Like This itself tops its fierce percussion with parping sax and Negro-esque space-disco stabs, while We Know Jack veers even further towards disco house territory – albeit in a grown-up kinda way, and still with those rolling techy drums.

Two very solid bets for the slightly slinkier floors, then.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Kozmik Hype Recordings, who are based in Toronto and who can be found on Facebook, on Soundcloud or at their own website.

Bimas – Koala's Rolling

Bimas Koala's Rolling EP Aella Music
There's a koala, y'see, and he's rolling. I'm not sure how or what he's rolling (down a hill? in the aisles? back the years? up a fatty?) but he's rolling. Bimas says so.

It's long been my contention* that there aren't enough house music records that name-check koalas, so this was forced to get a mention. What does it sound like? Oh, y'know, rolling percussion, atmospheric synths, disembodied vocal snatches, yada yada yada… basically three slices of yer standard issue, perfectly serviceable, if not particularly ground-breaking, tech-house floor fodder.

But come on, it mentions koalas. What more do you want?

Out: This week

About: This comes on Italian label Aealla Music, and is their 14th release. Find 'em on Soundcloud, Facebook or at their own website.

Oh yeah, and Bimas is from Belgium and has had stuff out on Martin Buttrich and Loco Dice's Desolat! before now.

*It hasn't.

Helder Teixera – Non

Helder Teixeira Non Endemic Digital
Having discovered Portuguese producer Teixeira, the Endemic camp seem determined to release a record by him at least every 45 minutes… here's just the latest. S'good, though. 

There's just the two mixes to choose from. The original is a midtempo, rolling tech-house groove, with snatches of spoken French vocal but the emphasis primarily on the drums. It's the 4am Mix from Teixeira himself that I'm feeling much more, though – a far smoother, afterhours house joint with organs to kill for.

Nuff said, really… otherwise I'll be forced to do some sort of 'big, throbbing organ' joke. But yeah, this is very cool indeed.

Out: This week

About: Here's a link you may have seen before, and here's Helder's own Soundcloud page which you may not.

Anton Lanski – Kill Me

Anton Lanski Kill Me Etoka Records
Liverpool's masters of all things deeper than deep serve up a fine remix package here.

Anton Lanski's original version of Kill Me operates in downtempo/chill-out territory, but the rest of the EP is made of more floor-oriented remixes, which are the winners of a remix competition run by the label earlier in the year. Forteba gives us lo-slung, sleazy nu-disco/slo-mo, Insect O takes us into dub techno territory, Jedd's mix comes on like the very sparsest and most minimal of two-step, while What About U's rub is the closest to the sumpuous original, just with slightly beefier kicks.

The Forteba and Insect-O mixes stand out for me but it's an impressive EP all round – given that the remixers involved are competition winners and hence presumably relative newcomers, doubly so.

Out: This week

About: You can find Etoka Records at their website or on Soundcloud.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Various – Tronic 2013

Tronic 2013 Tronic Music
Christian Smith's long-running Tronic Music label serve up a compilation of all-exclusive tracks, showcasing some of the label's forthcoming gems for the new year.

There was a time when the name Christian Smith meant one thing: driving, loop-based techno. But that was then, this is now, and there's none of that here at all. Instead, we're treated to 15 tracks that operate mostly in tuff, chugging tech-house territory, but also take in deeper, proggy vibes (Jewel Kid's Tempo Definition, Guy's Mercury) and some straight-up house, too (Per Hammar's Fever Mode, Smith's own disco-infused Keep On).

With some other respectable names including Pig & Dan, Dosem and Coyu also making an appearance, this is a very strong collection of club tracks that'll appeal to house and techno heads alike.

Out: This week

About: You can find Tronic Music on Facebook.

Tuff Culture – Circles

Tuff Culture Circles LU10
Despite something of a revival of late, the TIWWD inbox isn't troubled by as much UKG as I might like… so to get a whole album of the stuff that's as good as this, is something of a rare treat.

There are ten tracks here, that between them take in most shades of garage music the UK has ever produced. I Wanna Hold You is a jerky, twitchy 2-step number with cut-up vox inna Todd Edwards stylee, It's Me & You is a bassier affair with ragga vocal flourishes, Need You Around is smoother, more commercial 2-step, Walking In Ecstasy works a classic vocal over big, bassline house-ish backing, there are more bassline-y vibes on the R&B-vocalled Temptation (featuring Miss Rhodes), Like A Star takes us back to the SG glory days (complete with a few cheeky, very familiar samples) and Enigma Dubz collab Maris flirts with future garage/post-dubstep flavas.

Consistent enough stylistically to feel coherent, yet varied enough not to get same-y, this is a must-check for UKG fiends.

Out: This week

About: This comes on LU10 Records – find 'em on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Dudley Strangeways & Michael McLardy – Timed Out EP

Dudley Strangeways & Michael McLardy Timed Out EP Deep Edition
More classic-style deep house vibes to kick us off today, as two familiar names team up for a three-track EP on Deep Edition.

Timed Out itself is in its Original form sees all manner of liquid-y, bubbling synth sounds and atmospheric samples layered over fairly uptempo beats and topped with snatches of people talking about Detroit, while the Sossa Remix tones down the multiple layers and has a slightly more cinematic feel. But the absolute killer here for me is bonus cut Can't Sleep, as sumptuous a late-night groove with garage-y overtones as you're likely to hear all week.

Top-drawer bizniss, as is Martijn's label's wont.

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 31 December.

About: You can find Deep Edition on Facebook and Soundcloud, or at their own website.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Lee Walker – The Deep Stuff

Lee Walker The Deep Stuff Savoir Faire Musique
Another TIWWD fave label here, as Savoir Faire Musique bring us this solo outing from RiffRaff's Lee Walker.

In its Original form, The Deep Stuff is typically sumptuous SFM deep house tackle, chugging along nicely at 120bpm and sporting a pleasingly understated, though insistent organ line (and at one point, what sounds like a dog barking but might not be). Deep Edition label boss Martijn gives us a remix that's similar but slightly rawer-sounding, Groove Syndicate beef up the kicks and push the tempo a notch, while Miami Ice take us even deeper with a mix that rides groovier percussion and adds lounge-y sounds on top.

All that said, the four mixes aren't hugely varied, to be honest. Good job the Original is as strong as it is, then… cos that also means you won't go far wrong with any of 'em.

Classy stuff as ever from SFM.

Out: This week

About: You can find Savoir Faire Musique on Facebook and Soundcloud.

James Dexter – System Check EP

James Dexter System Check EP Lost My Dog
Been busy working on the TIWWD redesign today, and in fact got 90 per cent of it done… only trouble is it's the last 10 percent that takes 90 per cent of the time! So it'll be a little while yet before it all goes live.

In the meantime, there's just time ce soir to tell you about a couple of deep house gems that are landing from a couple of TIWWD's favourite labels. First up is this EP from James Dexter, a 25-year-old producer from London who's had stuff out on some pretty heavy-hitting labels already: Om, Salted and Nervous to name but three. Here, though, he serves up his debut for the mighty Lost My Dog.

It's a four-track affair, and the title track is actually my least favourite, I'm sorry to say! You've gotta love those raw, jacking beats overlaid with piercing synths and female vocal wails, so it's not rubbish by any means… I could just do without the bloke shouting "It's a soundsystem banger" over and over again. Not to worry though, cos there's plenty more to enjoy here, from the soulful One Day, to the small-hours dancefloor vibes of Do That Thing and In & Out.

Quality deep house music, but then what else would you expect?

Out: This week

About: Find Lost My Dog on Facebook, on Soundcloud or at their own website.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Some exciting news (sort of)

Just a quick heads-up… I've been promising a revamp for this site for a while, but now it's finally happening. Er, hopefully. Getting properly stuck in as of tomorrow AM.

So if blogging service is a bit slow for the next few days, please bear with… it'll all be worth it in the end. Er, hopefully!

Giom – Play On

Giom Play On Fly In A Jam
From a fledgling label based in NYC, to a brand spanking new label straight outta Cyprus, going by the name of Fly In A Jam Records… and from an artist I can't tell you anything about, to one I shouldn't really need to, cos he's doing all right for himself these days is our Giom. You've probably noticed.

Here, the French deep house dude serves up a simple, unhurried midtempo groover that's probably best suited to warm-up play or very late sessions rather than peaktime mayhem, but that's very fine all the same, and that has an understated spangly disco breakdown in the middle.

Just the one mix, so I needn't detain you any longer. But yeah, typically high-quality fare from Giom… and a great way to kick off a new label!

Out: This week

About: You can find Fly In A Jam on Soundcloud or Facebook, or Giom at his own website. You can find a fine range of novelty tea cosies here, in case you're stuck for a Xmas present for Auntie Margaret. And that's about as seasonal as the Scrooge-like TIWWD ever gets, so make the most of it.

Alwin Parenze – MT Royal EP

Alwin Parenze Mt Royal EP Dance Through Life
A very checkable deep house EP here from New York's Dance Through Life Records. I can't tell you a lot about it, mind… I don't know who Alwin Parenze is or what his back story is. I don't know where Mt Royal is (there's lots of them). I don't know why record labels don't tell me these things.

But I can tell you that Mt Royal itself and Bongo Boom are the most upbeat/floor-friendly trax, Late Night is the one for those in search of some classic-sounding deep house vibes while my personal faves are the deeper cuts Making You Dance and (especially) 7th June.

And I can tell you that it all adds up to, as I said, a very checkable EP.

Out: This week

About: You can find Dance Through Life on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Monday, 17 December 2012

So many tunes, so little time 34 pt 2

Before we get onto this week's reviews, here's the second part of last night's round-up…

Max Bett is up first with Something Like This, a very solid little two-tracker in the tech-house/house-y techno arena courtesy of Craft Music… next, Sick Elektrik give us Got Your Picture, a big and chunky contemporary vocal houser on State Records…  Soul Button's Play Again EP on Steyoyoke is something of an oddity, sitting somewhere between deep/tech house, nu disco and electronic pop, with full vocals on all three originals – file under 'interesting'… Soul Holder's Break The Music EP for Nocturnal, on the other hand, is the label's trademark unashamed disco-house party fare… Stereogamous feat Shaun J Wright give us Face Love Anew, a collaborative release between US label HNYTRX and Berlin's Cocktail D'Amore. A soulful house cut at heart, it comes in eight mixes covering various house and nu disco bases, incuding a rub from Horse Meat Disco… there's more soulful house goodness on the Makin' Moves Sampler Vol 1, from the new UK label of the same name, with DjQness and SMI getting rerubs from Quentin Harris and David Harness, Harris's Dub of DjQness being particularly toothsome… Bush Of Sounds is a sampler V/A ep from Italy's N.O.I.A Records, across six tracks it's basically a house/ambient/world/psych fusion thing and well worth listening to without prejudice… and finally Aura comes on the mighty Transport from house legend and generous sharer of nachos* Vincent Kwok, who comes up trumps with a deep house gem that's firmly rooted in classic US vibes yet embraces the best of the more contemporary European sound, too.

Thanks also this week to: Definitive Records, Sven Väth, Cellophane, Chester & Oscar, Dadaglobal, DJ KoT, Drumcomplex & Roel Salemink, Felix Bernhardt & Larry BAAAAM!, Full Funktion, German Brigante, Inbeat, J Gonzalez, JRR Floorkiller, JunkDNA Vs Rosie Romero, Marc Houle, Nikki Noek, Quintin Christian & Vandermeer, Soulight, Steve Conelli, Tamagotchi JAH, Tiger Cubes, Tintin, Tuccillo & Kiko Navarro, Umek and Visitor Seven.

* this references an incident at a Miami pool party ten years ago. You can't even call it an in-joke because there is no earthly reason Vincent Kwok would remember it. I'm not even sure why I do, but you know how things stick in your head.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Simon Bryant – Tongue Tied EP

Simon Bryant Tongue Tied EP Hype MuzikI'll say it right now, the sleeve for this is horrible. If there's one thing I don't want to see more than two emos snogging, it's two emos snogging where their tongues appear to have morphed into a piece of meat. There's just no need. But hey… just cos I don't like it doesn't mean it should be censored, so feast your eyes if you dig that kind of thing. You weird twisted freak.

Anyway it's not what they come wrapped in, it's what they taste like that matters. And Guilty For You, here, tastes to me like a modern-day big room vocal anthem in waiting – you could easily imagine this getting rinsed by the likes of Huxley, Maya Jane, yada yada yada.

The wonkier Tongue Tied operates in more familiar Hype Muzik house-prog-techno territory, while Uneasy Queasy is big, dramatic and a bit scary. Both will find their fans, but it's Guilty For You that'll push this up the download charts. Put your hands up for Southend.

Out: This week

About: You know where to find Hype Muzik by now.

The Rimshooters Vs Snax – Pledge Allegiance

Some upfront, contemporary-sounding house vibes here courtesy of boutique Parisian label Her Majesty's Ship. It's available on limited edition hand-painted vinyl and everything!

There's three mixes on offer, and they vary quite considerably. The original is a midtempo slab of disco house/nu boogie, and very satisfying in the 'fat squelchy bass' department. But the vocal's a little European/synthpop-sounding so better to these ears is the Box Office Poison House Dub, which… well, y'know is housier and dubbier, what can tell you? Finally, and just pipping the latter for me, is Rimshooters' own Acid Dub which… oh, come on.

With house, ahem, "back in" right now*, I do get a bit anxious sometimes if these young 'uns with their funny jeans and haircuts are gonna get it right. Records like this reassure me no end.

Out: This week

About: You can find Her Majesty's Ship on Facebook, Soundcloud or their own website. This is only their fifth release, by the way. Oh, and if you want the vinyl, have a peep at Resident Advisor for a list of previous HMS stockists.

*a phrase that makes me laugh cos for some of us, it's never been out… for the past 20 years or more. Tsk, kids! :-)

Stefan Cordery – Incorporated

Stefan Cordery Incorporated Menomale
This WAS gonna go in the 'So many tunes…' round-up, but the four mixes are just too different, and too good in their own ways, for it not to get a full review.

Stefan Cordery is the man at the helm: his original version of Incorporated is an atmospheric tech-house chugger with that minimal-style trick of layering lots of scratchy, high-end sounds. Carlo Galliani's rub adds some stripped-down bass throb and brain-frying disco stabs for the 3am strobelit floors, while Ken Rok strips things right back to a minimal/deep techno pulse. And I'm liking all three mixes to be fair, especially Galliani's.

But it's the no-nonsense Mario Conte & Fabio SPZZ1 rub I'm loving best: it's the kind of muscular disco-techno that makes me think of Vague or early-doors Trade back in the day. Shirts optional.

Out: This week

About: This comes on London's Menomale Records, who can be found on Soundcloud, Facebook or at their own website.

Copyright feat Andre Espeut – Lifted

Copyright Lifted EP Defected
Don't overlook this killer from Defected. Not so much for the A-side Lifted itself, though. That's a big room, driving houser with soulfully-inclined male vocal exhortations to lift your hands up… it's okay, but nothing that special.

Which is why I say don't overlook this, because if you'll do you'll miss out on both Sometimes, a deeper house cut with tuff, rolling drums, samples from the same vocal Moby used on Honey and parping sax, and most importantly the Pablo Fierro Remix of Lifted, which drops deeper and adds a stonking great fuck-off Robin S-style organ line. And makes itself an unmissable purchase while it's doing it.

Defected might not be the hippest label to be biggin' up but I don't care – made by a pair of true UK house and garage legends and given a polish by one of the best of Europe's new wave, this is a genuine bomb.

Out: This week

About: You can find Defected here, here and here (web, Facebook, Soundcloud).

So many tunes, so little time 34 pt 1

Another week gone by, another bunch of tunes that you might also want to check… gonna break 'em down into two batches this week.

First up then is Russia's A&1 who gives us Midnight on Incepto Deep, an all-instrumental EP from the proggier end of the deep house spectrum… … Alexey Emelyanov's Soft Monday EP on Guava is another proggy affair… Alex Portarulo's Growing Beat EP on Greece's Diva Records takes us into tech-house territory, with B-side Voices actually my pick over the title track… coming on Unrivaled Music, Beboo's La Casa Del House EP is a loving tribute to Chi-town sounds of yesteryear… eleven8 and Clarity team up for the excellent Changing Colours EP on new London label The Crescent, a three-tracker that mixes elements of deep house and dubstep so I guess should be filed under 'bass music'… Fernando's Decadance is a skinny-jeaned indie dance thing I could take or leave, but is brightened up considerably by Max Essa's refix which reinvents it as an Italian houser circa 1989, oh and we have Bearfunk to thank for that one… Franco Strato's Between The Lines for Euphoria Music is a bubblin', bassy deep houser with what sounds like a sample of Paul 'Fab Macca Whacky Thumbs Aloft' McCartney talking, and comes with two equally fine deep dancefloor cuts… Lokal Area Records give us Garnomala's Sint Westos/Sint Meiros, a two-tracker of tuff, chuggy tech-house… Groovalicious feat Diana Waite's Free Love on 3345 Music is a bit cheesy disco-tastic in its original form, but rescued by a brace of deeper and far more satisifying dubs from Alexander East and Vital & HubbNadja Lind teams up with Grunbox for High Heels Trap, which is typically high-quality deep techno in classic Lucidflow style… Headman's 2003 punk-funk/nu-disco classic It Rough gets another run out on Relish Recordings, complete with four new mixes from label boss Robi Insinna and friends… Klankarbeit steer us back into deep/tech house waters with the Yeah EP, a three-tracker on Alchemy Records whose standout for me is EagerKönig Balthasar gives us the Mini Guide To The Galaxy EP on Switzerland's Acryl Music, with two tracks that merge deep house and nu-disco but the standout for me being third cut Disharmonia, a superb deep jazz-house excursion that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Boulevard… and finally for part one, Larry Cadge's Confidence, on Smiley Fingers (a label I'm delighted to be back in contact with!) is a superb deep house jam that comes in simple Original and Dub flavours, and most importantly, takes bites from a certain classic Simonelli vocal…

Various – Finest NY House 2012

Finest NY House 2012 King StreetNot one but two sampler EPs here from King Street, following the label's usual, somewhat confusing strategy of putting out completely different yet identically titled EPs for Beatport and Traxsource.

In the red corner then we have the Beatport Edition. This is a seven-track affair, with contributions from Fisher & Fiebak, Satoshi Fumi, T Ruggieri, Iban Reus & Oliver Schmitz, M2, vexuS T and Mass Digital. Here, the emphasis is mostly on drummy, tracky shit: Ruggieri's Love Shines Through, Fumi's Shiny and Mass Digital's deeper Those Moments stand out.

In the blue corner, meanwhile, the Traxsource edition features a further seven cuts, this time on a more melodic/musical/funkier tip. Marco Bruzzano's Rebirth is one highlight, Quentin Kane's euphoric, Rod Stewart-sampling M.U.S.I.C another, with further contributions coming from Washerman, Alex Font, Phazed Groove, Urban Soul and Hamza.

As you might expect from a collection focusing mostly on up-and-coming names, there are a couple of tracks that fail to hit the spot but overall, both EPs do their job of showcasing the current house sound of NYC admirably.

Out: This week for the Traxsource edition; you'll have to wait till December 24 for the Beatport one.

About: As well as their own website you can now find King Street/Nite Grooves/Street King on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Diego Krause – Tropic EP

Diego Kraus Tropic Midnight Social Recordings
Another label who are no strangers to TIWWD here, with the latest from Carlo Gambino's Leeds-based Midnight Social Recordings.

Four original tracks make up the EP. Face It is a bassy, layered deep/tech groove with whispered female vox imploring you to "touch my face" (I think), Make Me Feel tops a more strident riddim with almost rave-y stabs, warbling Wurlitzer sounds, "baby, give me your good lovin" male vocal wails and a cheeky line pinched from Diana, Rabbit Hole marries more of those militant Chi-town beats with warmer synth sounds and a vocal nod to Heard It Through The Grapevine, while finally Tropic itself is a techier cut with jerky, filtered percussion and some lush garage-y stabs.

If you're looking for some contemporary-sounding deep/tech house vibes with real soul, here's where you'll find them.

Out: This week

About: Find Midnight Social on Facebook.

Savvas – Soultown EP

Savvas Soultown EP Savoir Faire Musique
Two tracks in four mixes make up this latest essential EP from the ever on-point Savoir Faire Musique.

As is par for the course with SFM, deep house from the soulful/garage-y side of the street is the order of the day. Soultown itself in its original form is a lush, midtempo groover with an atmospheric, cinematic kinda feel, while Soul Minority provide a remix that's a little bit dreamier still, and that makes more use of the male vocal. What You Need is another atmospheric, midtempo affair with chorused M&F vox reciting the title over lots of long, evolving synths sounds, while Echofusion's mix with its sax parps, "ooh yeah" vocal inserts and warm bass drops takes us into the late-night driftaway zone, yet is somehow more obviously floor-friendly at the same time.

In fact, the latter mix would be my pick of the whole EP, with the original of Soultown a close second, but it's all good.

Out: This week

About: You can find Savoir Faire Musique on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

This week's albums

Still a bit behind with stuff from going away last week, so rather than review one or two albums and miss out some other good ones, here's a little mini round-up of the week's full-lengths and compilations.

Martin Grey Winter Solitudes Easy Summer
Various – Winter Solitudes
We'll start out nice and mellow with this collection of dusty downtempo breaks, chilled ambience and blissed-out proggy/Balearic bizniss from Ukrainian label Easy Summer. Other chill-out albums are, it has to be said, available, but this one – compiled and mixed by Martin Grey – will certainly do the job as well as any, with tracks from Yakush Project, N4M3, The Wildlife, U.O.K (whose space-y Dangerous Journey is a particular highlight) and a whole bunch of other people.

Various – Come In We're Melodica
Chris Coco's Melodica label celebrate a year in the game with more chill-out/downtempo vibes on what's basically an in-house remix compilation. A few whining white boy pop/indie vox had me hitting FWD and it's a bit too 'achingly lovely' for my liking in places, but there are some gems on offer as well – check out the spangly nu-disco vibes of the two Max Essa collabs or the uber, uber deep dubstep of Deekie Vs Ejeca's Rush, for starters. File under 'patchy, but worth checking'.

Julius Papp Music Is The Key NeoDisco
Julius Papp – Music Is the Key
Keeping the vibe pretty mellow but moving into housier territory, Music Is The Key is somewhat unbelievably only the second studio album from SF-based Canadian producer Julius Papp. Despite that, with his production career stretching all way back to the mid 90s, you should have a pretty good idea of the kind of mellow, jazz-tinged deep/soulful house grooves to expect by now. And shouldn't be surprised to hear that Mr V and the goddess-like Lisa Shaw make guest appearances on vox. Comes on his own Neo Disco, who seem to have no web presence at all that I can find, but you can hear some of the tracks at the link below.

Various – Nostalgic Futurisms
Stepping the pace up now with a fine collection of thinking man's D&B vibes. This comes on Mjazz, which for those not in the know is the reborn, 21st century incarnation of veteran 90s imprint Modern Urban Jazz. Whether it's Reece/Bukem-ish coffee table/liquid vibes, dark, uncompromising tech-step or sparse, post-dubstep mininalism you're after, you'll find it on here on an album that links the past with the present and restores your faith that there IS more to D&B right now than cheesy electro/stadium/trance/pop shit aimed at over-excited 16yo chavs.

Various Mutual Respeckt Vol 2 Respekt Recordings

Various – Killekill Megahits
Various – Mutual Respekt Vol 2
Two separate label comps from two separate labels but time is short and they're in a pretty similar vein, truth be told, with dark, rolling techno and the tuffest of tech-house the order of the day more or less throughout. Mutual Respekt's club-tastic second label comp features the heavy-hitting likes of Lutzenkirchen, Matt Minimal and Alex Karakasis, while more big names (Radioactive Man, Neil Landstrumm and the mighty Snuff Crew, who give us some more of their trademark jacking, raw acid house with Go Back) grace the slightly more stylistically varied Killekill set.

There you go, with six varied long-players taking in chill-out, house, techno and D&B, you should find something you like in there… if you don't, then perhaps a trip to the ear shop is in order?