Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Andy Vaz ft Eva Soul - Feelin'

And from a house track that TALKS about Detroit (Mansfield & Klein, below), here's a house track that's actually FROM Detroit. How about that for a seamless segue, eh?

The original of Feelin' is slice of soulful action whose musical roots lie at least as much in NY/NJ as they do in the Motor City. With a backdrop of warm piano chords and a yearnsome, breathy vocal from Eva, it's a beauty… and the remixes from Norm Talley (instrumental and stripped to the bone, but nonetheless retaining the warmth) and Drivetrain (a little more swung and west coast-y) don't hurt it one iota.

Definitely seems to be a resurgence lately in tracks that can do 'soulful' without it having to mean 'wishy-washy, noodly and polite', and that can only be A Good Thing.

Out: This week

About: This is on Soiree Records International, Derrick Thompson AKA Drivetrain's own label who've been pushing house in Detroit for 20 years now. All praise is due, etc… though I must admit I'm most familiar with Drivetrain from the excellent One Wish Wonder album he did on Little Angel in 2005.

Anthony Mansfield & Tal M Klein - Who's Afraid of Monty Luke

House music with a sense of humour… it's only rarely been tried, and even more rarely actually worked. So this tongue-in-cheek number from Anthony Mansfield and fellow San Franciscan Tal M Klein, which made ME chuckle at least, is most definitely to be welcomed.

Musically, Who's Afraid Of Monty Luke is a chunky slab of house at "today's lower tempos", with both techno and disco influences. It's solid stuff for sure, but it's the (mostly spoken, sometimes falsetto, sometimes vocodered) vocals that really make it… you'll have to hear it for yourself but it's almost certain to make you smile when you do. Particularly when the track announces itself as a tribute to Bob Villa, host of US DIY show This Ole House… and various of that show's technical staff.

On the B, the aforesaid Monty Luke – who the press release informs me, how reliably I'm not sure, is a friend of the pair who relocated to Detroit to work at Planet E – shows he's not afraid of himself with a remix that takes the tracks into more overtly technofied pastures. Like the vocalist I'm personally "thinking of a word that starts with an H, ends in an E, has an OUS in the middle", so it's the original for me all the way, but this mix will have its fans as well, I'm sure.

Oddly reminiscent of Grampa's She's Crazy, an early Kerri Chandler nugget, this is a quirky gem.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Tal M Klein's own San Francisco-based Aniligital Music.

Monday, 27 February 2012

ALBUM Sleazy McQueen - 5+1

Opening with the soaring pianos of Jesus Pablo's C Major, here's as good a picture of the current state of the art when it comes to dancefloor-oriented deep (as opposed to tech) house as you'll hear all week.

From Senor Pablo we move into the Crazy P-ish vibes of Tres Gueros ft Anne Mantone's Your Love, and from there into the sheer retro joy of Crazy Boogie's Marshall Jefferson-esque Feel It. Now they're moving, a couple of more contemplative grooves keep the vibe steady in the form of Peckos's What Are You? and Sleazy's own Trains Over Broadway, building up nicely into the quirky leftfield disco-house of Z Track 05 by Noise Destruction. Then it's heads-down for Grant Dell's Don't Need Ya and Do It Proper's Love Haight, before Anne Montone's tonsils grace us once more on SMQ's Anna Due.

That's followed by the Balearically-tinged The Ride from Do It Proper again, before we come to what's the standout for me, Sleazy McQueen feat DJ Itek & Q-BAM's massive acid-tinged, Plastic Dreams-referencing Big Times, Big Tings. Grant Dell's House Tribute – which has cropped up on this blog before as I recall – and Dirtyworx' Una Cola then calm things down a little, before Tres Gueroro's Instead You Go lightens the mood with some punk-funk vibes. And then finally Mario Dujic's My Need Is You plays us out with some blissed-out space disco.

It's a thoroughly enjoyable romp, all told. And, quiet interestingly, it was brought to you by the magic of, with a list on the CD cover of all the people who chipped in to make sure the album came out. Nice work, philanthropic types – househeads worldwide will be very grateful!

Out: Today

About: This comes on Boston-based label Headtunes Recordings. Here's the usual links: website Facebook Soundcloud MySpace.

Florida boy Sleazy needs no introduction from me these days but I should also point out he's also SMQ (of course) and Tres Gueroros, so quite a lot of this album is his own work.

As regards Anne Montone… no idea. But a great voice, let's hope we hear more from her soon.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

ALBUM DJ Sneak - Fabric 62

It's been, ooh, 17 years since Sound Of Ministry put out a compilation called The Future Sound Of Chicago; that was the first time, I'm pretty certain, that yours truly came across a man called Carlos Sosa, better known as DJ Sneak. Not long after that, I first saw him DJing, on a Thursday night @ Sankeys Soap in Manchester. Then still pretty much an 'up-and-comer', he blew the place away – it's one of those rare nights from back in the day that actually sticks in the memory! I was covering the night for a long-defunct Manchester magazine, where I described Sneak's set as "a jazzed-out, techno-infused trip to the jacking, pulsating disco heart of house music", or something equally pretentious.

Well here we are a decade and a half later, not a lot's changed. I'm still talking shit about house music, and Sneak's still one of the best in the game at it.

I'd like to leave this review right there, but I should probably also tell you that this features lots of tracks and mixes from names that will be very familiar to readers of this blog – Ramon Tapia, Mike Jules, Luca M, Mendo, Darius Syrossian – and some other names that might not be… yet. Oh yeah, and I should tell you as well, that it includes a remix by Mr Tapia of the classic 'Special' by Sir James. That track aside, though, this is long on truly upfront shizzle, and of course several tracks from Sneak's own Magnetic label.

But mainly I just wanna tell you that this is the absolute mummy-cuddlin' BOMB. And we really will leave it right there.

Out: This week

About: You've probably heard of Fabric… they've got their own discotheque in London and everything!

Kenny Summit - Not Just Talk sampler

Kenny Summit has been DJing in NYC for nearly 20 years, and is no stranger to the studio either… yet it's only now, in 2012, that he prepares to release his debut full-length. And here are the first five tracks from it.

Kenny's pedigree and experience show, in that these tracks slot into a 'classic house' continuum nicely; at the same time he's not stuck in the past either, with the influence of more contemporary deep/tech sounds also writ large. Hence, by mixing the old and the new, the tracks here could find favour with a range of jocks. The Cut chops up the Flawless vocal to devastating effect; Sax Breath marries tuff, rolling beats with surprisingly little of the eponymous woodwind instrument but instead a nagging, repetitive synth hook; What We Must Become has a dreamy, almost proggy Balearic feel; Mayhem goes back to those driving tech-house beats but adds a seriously phat n' funky bassline; and finally Nickel-Plated brings the proper old-skool flavas with its Chi-town b-line and Loleatta sample, perversely making for something that should go down a storm in the current climate.

If the rest of the album's as good as the tracks here, it's gonna be a must-have.

Out: This week

About: This comes to you courtesy of a label who are no strangers to this blog, Mile End Records. Here's their website and Facebook.

Chuck Love feat Demonica Flye - The Voice

Not heard from Minneapolis housemeister Chuck Love for a while, but now here he comes again with a soulfully-inclined number that will delight lovers of traditional vocal house/garage vibes.

Ms Flye's voice reminds me a little bit of Celeda and a little bit of Michelle Weeks, as she delivers a rousing part-spoken, part-sung call to arms. "What's up with that last cut, dude?" she asks. "It sounded like R2-D2 getting busy with Ms PacMan. Where's the soul?". In the current techy and largely instrumental house climate, there will doubtless by many who are hearing that! Parping organs and a harmonised gospel-style chorus further enhance the vintage US feel… you can see this going down a storm at pool parties in Miami next month.

On the remix tip, Monte's Main Mix takes the track into shinier, spanglier, more main room territory, while Bryan Gerrard pares the vocal back a little and lets the organ come to the fore, but the pick for me is the Jevne Remix, a stripped-down and far deeper affair that chops and loops the vocal, and that will be just perfect for those 5am moments in the more specialist clubs.

Mixing soulful vox with plenty of solid dancefloor bump was always somewhat Mr Love's stock-in-trade… nice to see he hasn't lost his touch!

Out: This week

About: This comes on Vino Recordings. Like Chuck himself they're based in Minneapolis, and this is number 8 from the label, though the first that's come to my attention I will admit. You can find 'em online here, or visit Chuck Love's own website

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Various - Now Departing: 5D004

Now let's go from deep to deeper, with another new offering from some of the most promising new kids on the house block, 5 And Dime Recordings. Once again, it's a V/A affair featuring F Stop, Zach De Vincent and Quin.

F Stop's Sense Of Perspective is like an object lesson in how to do deep n' dubby house music properly, so much so that this could equally appeal to lovers of deep techno or future garage. Ain't a whole lot going on but crisp, insistent beats, lashings of bass, dubbed-out sub-aquatic FX and some meandering Mr Fingers-esque synths… but if that isn't enough to satisfy then you might just be reading the wrong blog.

ZdV's Walking On Down is a more upbeat, more obviously dancefloor-oriented affair, with a PHAT n' funky b-line, disembodied and heavily effected 'aahs' by way of a vocal and, again, not a huge amount else! And finally Quin's Everything Is Alright works pounding kicks, Afro-esque but non-noodlesome hand percussion and another full-phat bassline, and tops it all off with some soaring, dare I say even euphoric synths.

The latter's the one that could find its way into the sets of a broader variety of jocks – it's just a good groove that's packed with sunshine and smiles – while the first two are more your 'connoisseurs only' tackle… but that's a good thing. Proper deepness for those that know.

Out: This week

About: Only four releases in and Denver-based 5 And Dime is already rapidly establishing itself as one of the hottest labels to watch… in my humble opinion of course. Here's their website, Soundcloud and Facebook, if you wanna know why!

Enzo Siragusa - As We Are

"Sleek, deep, punch and modern house is what Enzo Siragusa is all about," says the hype sheet on this one, and yeah, that just about sums it up. Here, the resident from London club night Fuse (held at 93 Feet East) serves up a second single for his own label of the same name, making just four releases from them to date.

In its 'original' Enzo's Back To 93 Mix, As We Are is a deep, dubby houser, techy around the edges, long on sampled psychobabble vocals (M&F) and packing plenty of hefty bottom-end to keep the floor chugging along nicely. Remixes come from Rich NXT and Seb Zito, though to be honest neither of them flips the script massively, apart from Zito's rub being a little more stripped-down.

A touch more variety in the mixes might not've gone amiss, then, but this is strong stuff all the same.

Out: This week

About: Like I said, this is number four from Enzo's own Fuse Records. Can't seem to find a website for the label but here's one for the Fuse club night.

Friday, 24 February 2012

James Silk - Lost Circus EP

And the good house grooves keep on coming, with this three-tracker from James Silk, a young producer who seems to be turning out the good house grooves on an hourly basis right now.

Like the Stanny Abrams track below, opener Friend Of Mine here is big n' squelchy, albeit in a contemporary bassy tech-house rather than a 90s organ house kinda way; like Roman Rai's Sometimes two reviews down, it plunders some veteran acid jazz for its vocal, albeit this time Incognito rather than Brand New Heavies. It's rather splendid, in other words.

Elsewhere on the EP, you'll find Hazy Dayz and Trail To Buda. The former's a midtempo tech-house chugger with a deeply satisfying bottom end, some lilting, Steely Dan-esque geetar twiddles and a falsetto male vocal sampled – I'm guessing – from some 70s soul brother that I'll probably kick myself when someone tells me who/what it is! The latter is a slightly more uptempo groove with a sparser feel, some analogue squelch and disco-tastic "all right" vocal snips, and a jazzy, frenetic piano breakdown midway through.

The last two perhaps lack the 'instant anthem' appeal of Friend Of Mine but both are still very cool, confirming Mr Silk as a producer you definitely need to be keeping an eye on right now

Out: This week

About: Despite James's Liverpudlian origins, this actually comes all the way from southern Europe, on Macedonia's Artefact Records. As they haven't featured on here a million times already, here's the full set of links: Facebook Soundcloud MySpace YouTube and their own blog.

Stanny Abram - It's Magic

Well, wonders will never cease, as they say! I think this is the first record I've been sent with a Deso remix, where said remix actually ISN'T my pick of the crop.

Don't get it twisted, the Deso Dope Remix of It's Magic IS very good, a slo-mo gem of a deep, druggy groove tailormade for warm-up or afterhours play. The Patrick Podage & Nikola Kotevski Remix is also very good, a midtempo deep houser in the traditional sumptuous, mellow and melodic vein.

But at the end of the day, dear readers, TIWWD is a bit of a tart, an Unashamed Disco Dolly™, and as such, neither of the aforesaid can compete, in terms of sheer joyous 'whack it up loud and dance around the room'-ness, with the Original, which is a BIG-with-a-capital-BIG organ tune that'd give Show Me Love or Morel's Grooves #4 a run for their money any day… or indeed any of the early bassline house organ tracks out of Birmingham on labels like Jump and Ecko, that got yours truly so excited circa 2004/5.

So yeah, the original wins out for me but with two other top-quality remixes on board, all three of which will suit different floors/moods/times, you NEED this.

Out: This week

About: This is another winner from Savoir Faire Musique, one of those labels who I've raved about so much on here it's getting a bit embarrassing now…

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Rob Wu - The Vibes EP

I've sung the praises of Beats Me Music on here several times. They don't put out huge amounts of stuff, but when they do you can usually count on it coming straight out the top drawer. And this is no exception.

It's good VFM too, with four originals in a total of six mixes. If you like your deep house on the jazzual side, then you're gonna love Let's Keep It and Jazzy Paradise… so jazzual are these two, in fact, that it's only really the presence of a strong 4/4 kick that marks them out as house records at all, rather than out-and-out jazz-funk tracks.

That's a good thing in my books, by the way! And I should stress this is jazz without all the noodles and self-indulgent fiddly time signatures and suchlike, as well. Still, if it's all a bit too white socks n' Cortinas for ya, then a big n' bumpin Mike Jules Remix of the latter, and a beefed-up take on Let's Keep It by D'Experiment that's so Salted-esque it even sports an added chunk of sampled vocal featuring some dude talking about hiphop, should see you right.

A couple more upbeat, jazzed-out instrumentals, The Vibes and What's That, round out another excellent release from Beats Me Music. Keep 'em coming boys!

Out: This week

About: Beats Me are based on the south coast of the UK… if you want to know more, hit up their website and Facebook page. As for Rob Wu… I believe he's an Australian producer now based on these shores, but I could be wrong.

Roman Rai - Sometimes

Sometimes… the best ideas are the simplest.

Take this latest release from Tokyo Red, for instance. Musically, there isn't a huge amount going on that's particularly innovative or groundbreaking, nothing that'd stop you in your tracks, nothing that screams "play me to as many people as possible, as soon as possible". That said, there's certainly nothing wrong with it, either - it's a very good deep house record, as is Tokyo Red's wont, coming in Original and Oded Nir Lounge mixes that can essentially be summed up as 'more sumptuous, traditional-sounding and a bit west coast-ish' and 'slightly more sparse, techy and contemporary-sounding', respectively.

BUT! That's just the music, y'see. And what makes Sometimes an absolute killer – for an absolute killer it certainly is – is not the music but the vocal, whereby just the one line from a certain Siedah Garrett vocal is chopped and looped, and used frequently-but-sparingly throughout, to devastating effect. Quality, credible deep house records with enough of an accessible hook to render them playable in a non-specialist setting are few and far between… this is one of them, and as such I can see it featuring in DJ sets for a long time to come.

Like I said, sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Top marks.

Out: This week

About: Tokyo Red Recordings is, as you surely must know by now, the brainchild of DJ Sydney, and can be found on MySpace and Facebook. Here's the DJ Sydney website as well, and here's Roman Rai on Soundcloud (where you can HEAR THIS for yourself).

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pete Da Feet - Stutter

Kinda tired right now, so let's kick off the week's reviews with an easy one: the latest from Lost My Dog, which comes from label co-owner Pete Da Feet.

Why's it an easy one? Cos you KNOW Mr Da Feet, which frankly I think might not be his real name, can always be relied on for some good deep house grooves… and so it is here. Stutter is a midtempo affair with the kind of vintage Chi-town/NYC influences that are so en vogue right now; a brace of somewhat livelier, more percussion-filled rerubs from the equally dependable Moodymanc merely seal the deal.

Add in bonus cuts Rush – a proper stomper marrying hard, techy beats with warmer tops – and the more stripped-down Peace La Paz, and what you have is another highly checkable EP from an always checkable label. Nuff said!

Out: Yesterday (20 Feb)

About: The Middlesborough-and-London based crew have been looking for their wayward canine for a whole eight years now, and as such you probably don't need me to tell you much more about them. But here's their website and Facebook anyway.

Monday, 20 February 2012

So many tunes, so little time 9

Our 'regular Sunday night round-up' seems to have slipped to Monday again… oops. Still, here we are: the best of the rest of last week's release in 'capsule review' form.

David Amo & Julio Navas – 3 Days & 3 Nights EP
Rolling tech-house vibes from Great Stuff, who know a good rolling tech-house track when they hear one. Comes complete with a spoken, Bible-referencing vocal and two mixes of more out-and-out techno cut Squirt.
More info

Ian O'Donovan – Reign Orion
Progressive house from the heads-down, driving, techy, boys-y end of the spectrum. The four mixes are pretty similar-sounding but if pushed then O'Donovan's own Stripped Down Mix wins out from me.
More info

Matt Minimal – Ligne Droite EP
Despite the name, minimal this not! However, as muscular club techno goes, it is rather good. Two tracks, and it's B-side Photon that I'm feeling the most: with its funkier groove and hip-house style vocal, this would have been a Trade anthem back in the day.
More info

Fanatical Groove – Deep EP
More solid tech-house vibes here. As for the EP title, well, it's Christian Varela's label… he's known for the hard, loopy stuff so yeah, this is deep by comparison!
More info

Richard Dinsdale & D.Ramirez – Nothing Habitual
Something of a heavyweight team-up here, and between them they come up with a tough, no-nonsense houser for Dutch label Spinnin' that's aimed fair and square at the big floors. It's a bit more 'big room' in fact than TIWWD would normally go for, but it's good stuff for the style… plus he's a sound lad our Dean, and a fellow Yorkshireman, so always happy to show some love!
More info

Dache & Shaw – Freak EP
Pumping tech-house from the techno end of the spectrum on Colin Sales' label CSD… with an even-more-techno refix from the label boss himself.
More info

Ghostnotez – Closer
Coming on Craig Stewart's DCS Trax imprint, part of the Universe Media stable, this is a deep/tech house cut that knows its roots lie in Chicago, and isn't afraid to flaunt the fact! Bubba's Extended Remix would be my pick but all three mixes are very playable.
More info

James Silk – The DJ T Remixes
After I posted a review of James Silk's last single, he was kind enough to send through this set of remixes he's done of four tracks from DJ T's excellent Pleasure Principle long-player… at time of writing there's no word of an official release so count this as an early heads-up, just in case! And click the Soundcloud link below to hear just why this 25yo producer is already picking up support from everyone from Nervous Records to Pete Tong.
More info

Mike Salta – Escape From Rico Bay
Don't seem to be getting as much nu-disco through of late but Martin Brodin's MB Disco continue to fly the flag with this epic analogue synth workout. Remixes also in a nu-disco stylee come from Peter Visti, Sare Havlicek and Drop Out Orchestra, the latter also supplying a more housificated rub.
More info

Wally Lopez feat Hadley – Burning Inside
Remember Wally's big, tough, drummy houser from 2007? Well, here come no fewer than nine new mixes of it, spread across two separate 12”s (FACT0058 and FACT0059). Oliver Moldan's rub stands out for me.
More info

Shane Long – Riff'd
File this one somewhere between tech-house and progressive… though that partly depends on which of the four mixes you head for, of course. And if I were you I'd make that Ed Lee's, where you'll find a big Chi-town b-line just waiting to delight your ears, your feet and, if the soundsystem's good enough, your bowels too.
More info

Various – HOF All-Stars Volume 1
A five-artist, five-track sampler from Spanish label HOF (Hall Of Fame) Records. You know Spain's love of loopy techno? Well imagine them doing tech-house, and you've got a good idea what this mostly sounds like. It's solid stuff, though… and it had to get a mention cos not only is one of the artists called Daniel Knob, but one of the tracks is called My Dog Is Pissed Off. How can you not love an EP that's got a track called that on it?
More info

and finally…

Bah Samba – Moonlight
Even if you sometimes find Bah Samba's stuff a little too… polite, shall we say, you should check this anyway. The Souldynamic Go Deep Instrumental, in particular. That said, it's already #1 on Traxsource this week, so it doesn't really need my two penn'orth!
More info

Right, that's your lot for tonight – I've got a mountain of downloads to climb, so we'll start on this week's release tomorrow. See ya then…

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Distant People feat Nicole Mitchell – Gimme Heat

Seems like years since I reviewed anything from Distant People, but now they're back, back, BACK! in TIWWD's life with a big vocal houser that'll delight lovers of more traditional house sounds. Think of 90s/early 00s screamers like Kathy Brown's Turn Me Out, Liberty City's If You Really Love Someone or Goodfellas' Soul Heaven, and you're somewhere in the ballpark.

The five mixes include a funkified pass from JD73, a more sultry rub from Steven Stone, a techier mix from Sole Essential and, best of all to these ears, a stripped-down throbber in the form of Echofusion's Detroit Deep House Mix. But given the strength of Ms Mitchell's vocal, you can't really go wrong with this one, whichever mix you opt for.

Class in a glass, basically.

Out: This week

**UPDATE: Hang on… since writing this review earlier on today, I notice I've got ANOTHER promo of this, same tracks but that one says it's not out till 28 Feb on Traxsource and 13 March everywhere else. So you might have to wait till then...

About: This comes on Craig Stewart and Martina Lancaster's Universe Media imprint.

The Phenomenal Handclap Band – The Right One

Was almost in two minds about reviewing this one… having made the first Phenomenal Handclap Band album the TIWWD Album Of 2009, you'd think the least they might do would be let me have a copy of the new one, wouldn't you? But no. Clearly This Is Why We Dance isn't important enough… not now that everyone from Mixmag to bloody Metro's raving about them TWO BLOODY YEARS LATER. Harrumph.

Still, I'll do my best to get over my sulk and just say this is very good. It doesn't particularly break any new ground for the PHC I don't think, but then if you've carved out your own highly distinctive sound fusing space disco, NYC punk-funk and 70s AOR, long on irresistibly catchy harmonised choruses and impressively fluent musicanship, why change it? More 'club-friendly' mixes come from Medicine 8 and Wish, and there's an instrumental as well, but it's the Original that wins out for me.

The album, Form & Control, is probably very good as well… but then I wouldn't know, would I?

Out: This week

About: This comes on Tummy Touch.

I'm Fine & Antonio Olivieri – If I Were Music

New label alert! This is the very first release from a new label outta Berlin called Steyoyoke, and sees Berlin's I'm Fine teaming up with Italian-born but Berlin-resident Olivieri, who's previously had stuff out on Darkroom Dubs, among others.

It's a three-track affair. If I Were Music itself will be instantly recognisable the first time you hear it, based as it is around a slowed-down male vocal intoning the title over and over again. Musically it's a slow, brooding affair and to be honest, a dub or instrumental wouldn't have gone amiss… but at least that vocal does make the track stand out.

Your Ghost, similarly, might have benefited from a mix without the very 80s, European-sounding female vocal. But never mind, cos the main event here for me is Do Not Care, which teams a dark, ominous bassline in a vaguely Plastic Dreams/Positive Education-ish style with tuff beats, chanted vox and what I THINK is either a Hawaiian guitar or a sitar, all adding up to a track that's got something of the hypnotic feel of Indian ragas about it.

It's probably only the latter that I'd play myself but with three very distinctive, and very different, tracks on offer this is a strong debut release for the label all the same.

Out: This week

About: Find out more at the Steyoyoke website

Fabian Jakopetz & Dub Way – Moovin' Groovin'

You didn't think a whole week would go by without us looking at anything from the Endemic Digital camp, did you? Course not… and the cream of the crop from the Essex stable for me this week is this latest from Unrivaled Music.

Moovin' Groovin' comes in a total of five mixes: the original, plus rerubs from City Soul Project, Stefan K, Jobe and Christian Poow. The original is a chunky, driving houser with proggy overtones, and much the same could be said of the Jobe Remix, while the Poow and Stefan K rubs accentuate the vocal and have more of main room feel. But the pick to these ears is the City Soul Project Deep Dub, which… well, it's pretty self-explanatory really! But it's good.

With mixes to suit a range of DJs then, this is worth checking for sure.

Out: This week

About: More info at the Endemic Digital website(s)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Mazu – Living In A Paper Box

Sticking with the tuffer tech-house vibes for a mo', here's the latest from yet another Italian label (our third of the day), Diva Records.

One of the tracks here is called Direct Flight To Berghain, which gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect from the EP all round… or rather it doesn't, because while it'd no doubt sound perfect on certain floors in certain states of mind, this particular cut is actually a bit too linear, tracky and technofied for these ears. I'm preferring Living In A Paper Box itself: while equally uncompromising and tracky, this one has just a little more funk and wiggle to its insistent beats n' bass rhythm, and a little more going on in terms of texture, supplied by various vocal snips, synth washes, percussion fills and the like. A remix from label boss Andrea Mattioli & Stefano Kosa then toughens up the beats a notch and adds some sampled diva wails, making for a rub that'll suit the bigger floors.

All told, one to reach for when it's dark and they're already rocking along nicely… but if and when that's the case, then there are three solid tools right here.

Out: This week

About: Here's Diva Records' website, Facebook and Soundcloud pages

Kenny Ground – Edina EP

Two solid, chunky tech-house cuts here from Mr Ground.

Edina itself is a tuff-ish bouncer with a squelchy b-line, heavily-treated female vocal and a long-ish breakdown in the middle, and bound to play well on the messier floors. On the B, Groove On treads a similar path but at a slightly more sedate tempo, and with a little more funk flowing through its veins.

It's the latter I'm feeling the most, I think, but it's a close call – both are very playable, making this worth checking for sure.

Out: This week

About: This one comes atcha courtesy of Italy's Deeperfect, who can be found on Facebook and Soundcloud

Alexander Robotnick – Robotnick's Archives Vol 3

The Italian disco don serves up three more from the vaults, this time in the form of Serenade from 1986 and, coming more up to date, Sharper Bluesman from 2004 and a cover of Le Freak from 2000.

The electro-funkin' Serenade will delight those with a fetish for squelchy analogue 80s synth-bass, which I suspect might be quite a few TIWWD readers… vocodered vox from Robotnick himself merely add to the track's retro-tastic appeal. Listening to stuff like this, it's very easy to see how we got from disco to house, which I guess is kind of the point of issuing it now (like the rest of the tracks, this is seeing the light of the day for the first time).

Sharper Bluesman is less essential to these ears – as mid-noughties electrohouse goes it's fine, better than most in fact, but I wouldn't rush out and buy the EP for it. But more pleasing is Le Freak – for curio(sity) value alone, but also as a prime example of how/why Robotnick has been such an influence on the current wave of Italo-obsessed nu-disco producers (or was that last year?).

Anyway, never mind the last paragraph… you need this for Serenade alone. The rest is just gravy.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you – like Vols 1 & 2 (obviously) – by Robotnick's own label, Hot Elephant

9 West – What's On Your Mind EP

Veteran US house label King Street has noticeably been embracing more contemporary house styles of late, and further evidence of that comes in the form of this four-track EP from Greece's 9 West, AKA Kostas Tikis.

Protest leads the charge, and is a fairly typical but very playable slab of techy deepness, chugging along at an unhurried pace with plenty of atmospherics in the background and some treated male vocal snips to add musical interest. What's On Your Mind works a slightly more tribal-influenced rhythm, a suitably big n' rumblin' bottom-end and occasional echo-y female vocal stabs, while In Love operates in more traditional deep house/garage territories with its drawn-out vocal wails, dramatic bass swells and overall dreamy feel.

The vocal on the latter actually reminds me a little bit of Eterna by Slam, but that's probably just me. The pick of the EP, though, is Sometimes, which is all about the big, throbbing organ line… and you know how fond TIWWD is of a big, throbbing organ*! Despite the nostalgic organ sound, though, the track's actually quite current-sounding otherwise, what with its techified beats and sparing use of the vocal.

It all adds up to a strong EP all round… and like I say, good to see King Street keeping it fresh!

Out: This week

As ever, more info at the King Street website

*I remember JoeB at King Street once sending me a CD with one of the tracks marked with arrows and a scrawled note that read, “Oi, speed garage throwback!” Hello Joe, if you happen to read this.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Latecomer - The Magic Carpet (Fish Go Deep Remixes)

More top-quality deep house bizniss here, courtesy of Trendy Mullet who really aren't doing much wrong for me at the moment.

The original version of The Magic Carpet featured on Latecomer's Conditions EP at the end of 2010. Here, though, Ireland's leading purveyors of the deep, FGD, put their spin on the track. Twice, in fact, in the form of a deep and rumbling Remix laced with warm, sustained piano chords, and a largely piano-less Dub complete with some wibbly-wobbly added synth squeals and FX.

Dark, groovy fare perfectly suited for warm-up and afterhours play.

Out: This week

About: Here's where to find Trendy Mullet online

Nicc Johnson & Beatmaster G - Tell Me Something EP

A couple of weeks back I told you about the reorganisation over at Seamless Recordings, whereby the label's output is now split between the Seamless Soul, Seamless Deep and Seamless Traxx imprints. Then, we were discussing the first Seamless Soul release, from Hector Jennings; now here's the debut outing from Seamless Deep.

The EP comes with two mixes a-piece of Tell Me Something and What Ya Gonna Do. The former is about as party-hearty and 'Beefa-ish as deep house can get in its original form; better to these ears though is the pared-back refix from Aki Bergen, who strips the track down to its vocal and piano essentials, then underpins with an ominous, brooding bassline.

On the B, What Ya Gonna Do is a deeper house cut with one of those 'old jazzman talking' vocals, but again it's on the remix that it really comes to life, as Le Vinyl gives the track a skippier feel reminiscent of the kind of wonky, off-kilter garage-y bizniss the French have been turning out on the quiet since the FNAC days.

It's definitely the remixes that are doing it more for me here, but you really ought to check it for yourself…

Out: This week

About: Keep up with all things Seamless here

Hector Couto - Gabeta

Some nice deep dancefloor vibes here from Spain's Hector Couto, coming on Cray1 Labworks.

Opener Calle 8 is a midtempo deep houser roller with trumpets and pianos a-tootlin' and a-tinklin' atop crunchy beats. Title track Gabeta ups the tempo ever so slightly and is all about the funky-assed bassline, plinky keys and chopped vocal stabs, until it gets a more energetic, percussive, bordering-on-tribal refix from Yvan Genkins. And then finally there's Sometimes, a jaunty, bouncin' deep house dancefloor cut in classic west coast style.

Four very solid tracks that'll keep 'em moving for sure.

Out: Saturday (18 Feb)

About: Cray1 Labworks are based, like Hector himself, in sunny Espana. Find 'em on Facebook and MySpace.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

3hundreds – Back In Love

Some straight-up goodtime house music here… and there certainly ain't nothing wrong with that. Especially not when it manages the 'uplifting without being cheesy' thing, which this does.

Just the two mixes on offer. The original is all rolling, tuff-ish tech-house beats, topped off with a female vocal that's essentially just the track's title looped and chopped endlessly, accompanied by some soaring wails. Some lovely old-skool organ sounds add the musical interest and… er, well that's about it actually but it works, trust. The accompanying Glender Mix is a more percussion-led affair, and hence the one to head for if you're vocal-allergic.

Like I said, there's nothing massively groundbreaking going on or anything, but this is solid stuff all the same, and very playable as the summer draws nearer.

Out: This week

About: 3hundreds are a duo hailing from Sydney, Australia (where of course it's summer already), and this is the third release from Congaloid, a new label headed up by Solo of Dirtybird fame. Click the link for their website or find 'em on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Billy W - U Just Don't Know

For those that DON'T remember, back in the early 90s there used to be a label outta Detroit – I think Terrence Parker was involved quite closely in some way – called Serious Grooves. They specialised in raw, sparse house trax with raw, sparse, mostly sampled vocals, put out on limited-edition coloured vinyl, often on 10-inch pressings. Highly collectable at the time, those singles are among the most prized items in my record collection to this day.

Why the history lesson? Because on hearing the original mix of U Just Don't Know, I'm transported back to those days instantly. Like the original Serious Grooves releases, this won't be for everyone – dedicated 'real deal' househeads only need apply! But if that's you, the combination here of vintage Mr Fingers-style deep synths and raw, echo-y fem vox is gonna suit you down to the Jacksons' proverbial ground.

Sean Thomas's Drumsong Dub recasts the track as a more contemporary-sounding deep/tech house throbber, and TBH might be the rub that gets more club plays in the current climate… but the original's the one for me. And the fun isn't over there for us oldies, either, as bonus cut Intuition revisits the "dabby doo-dah-dah" scat vocal from The Hypnotist's rave classic House Is Mine, teasing it in slowly over a midtempo deep house groove with prog/Balearic touches. Which is, indeed, a bonus.

With three strong cuts and evidencing a strong sense of house history, this EP is pretty much a must.

Out: Yesterday (14 Feb)

About: Both Billy W and Sean Thomas hail from Philadelphia, but this comes on leading Canadian label Nordic Trax – here's their website and Facebook page.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Joseph Disco – What EP

The press release has this one labelled as techno, but tech-house would be a better description if you ask me. And some pretty damn fine tech-house at that.

In total you get three mixes of What Ever It Takes (sic), plus bonus cut What The Fuck. The standout for me is the Louie Cut Remix of What Ever…, a tuff, Great Stuff-esque roller with a jaunty swing in its hips and a neat line in bubbling aquatic sounds, but the Original Mix, with its pulsating bassline that weirdly resembles the 'bom bom bom' vocal from Disco's Revenge, is a very close second.

The Porter Rhodes Remix is a slightly more generic tuff tech-house workout with proggy touches, while rounding out the EP, What The Fuck blends a house-informed sound palette with the stop-start dynamics of European techno.

For me, the last two are playable rather than essential… but that's okay. Cos the first two are absolute killers.

Out: 15 February (tomorrow)

About: This comes atcha on Silicon Records

Huxley – Let It Go

And from Deso, we move on to Huxley, who last week did such a fine job of remixing the former's She Loves Deep. This week, he steps up in his own right with an absolute MONSTER of a house tune that, if there's any semblance of decency left in the world, you'll be hearing from now till Xmas.

“An emotive cut which duly warrants the oft-overused term 'anthem',” reads the hype sheet, and for once the hype is justified. Like Luca C & Brigante's Different Morals last year (a personal tune of 2011 for sure), this sees contemporary deep, techy house getting its soulful, vocal groove back in style. It's one of those rare beasts that brings all the energy and drama required for the bigger floors, yet without shedding an iota of its underground credibility in the process… this record deserves to be HUGE.

And speaking of underground credibility, it also comes complete with a remix from the hotly-tipped Eats Everything, who take us into more esoteric pastures with a stripped-down rub, based on more militant beats, that chops and loops the vocal and synths to head-frying afterhours effect. Which is nice, obviously.

Out: 15 February (tomorrow)

About: This comes on Hypercolour, who surely need no introduction from me by now…

Desos – Girl You Look Good Tonight

We'll kick off this week's reviews with a couple of releases from producers who, coincidentally, were mentioned in yesterday's/last week's as well… starting with this one from Desos who, following on from his excursion on Deep Edition, returns here to his own Deso Records label.

Girl You Look Good Tonight is as soulfully-oriented a track as I've heard from this remarkably talented producer to date. Simple, looping percussion and a two-note keyboard riff provide the basic framework atop which sits a wistful male vocal that means this could play on 'deep' and 'soulful' house floors equally well, while on the B, the Alex Agores Midnight Dub ups the tempo and beefs up the beats, while adding a glorious synth riff that harks back to classic Ital house of the early 90s and some extra vocal elements.

Said additional elements are, I BELIEVE, sampled, and I also think I should know where from… but it escapes me right now. Still, never mind that right, the important thing you need to take away is that this is some top quality house music, whichever mix you go for. What a splendid way to get the week started, eh?

Out: 13 February ('today', when I wrote this… but 'yesterday' now, thanks to my broadband falling over at home…)

About: You can find Deso Records on Soundcloud, on MySpace or at their own website.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

So many tunes, so little time 8

Here we go then… your weekly round-up of the best of the rest of the week's releases

Echonomist/Andrade – Obstacles/Dancin'
A split EP from Greece's Echonomist (with Mz Sunday Luv on vox) and Paris's Andrade, on the Cosmic Cowboys' Venice-based label Back And Forth Recordings. With remixes from Pol_On and Quell, expect quality contemporary deep house bizniss all the way.
More info

James Silk – Sweet Turning Sherbert EP
The first release on a brand new label associated with the Proton Music/Proton Radio family (see also Etoka, Gartenhaus, Lucid, Spring Tube and several dozen more). James Silk turns in three tracks of deep, techy house music, with the bass-rumblin', boogie-flavoured Turning Over the standout.
More info

Louie Fresco – So Good EP
Mexican producer Fresco comes to No 19 Music, with this first single from his soon-come debut full-length. So Good warps I Feel Love in weird and wonderful, slo-mo-ish ways and comes complete with a refix by Russ Yallop, while Owl Night is a similarly leftfield and forward-thinking tech-house affair.
More info

Sandman & Riverside – It's Too Late
The ninth release from US deep house and broken beat label FastFWD comes from the in-house production team of Sandman & Riverside. The original's one for the bruk crew, but more house-oriented rubs come from Ron Trent and Atlanta's KZR, with the latter's Late Night Dub my pick.
More info

The Rimshooters – Deep Electric EP
Number eight from Slow Motion here, a label founded in Italy but now based in Berlin and fast carving out a rep for itself in nu-disco circles. The three cosmic/Balearic instrumentals included here won't harm that rep any; nor will a remix of Deep Electric itself from Fabrizio Mammarella.
More info

The Time & Space Machine – Pill Party In India
And sticking with the freaky-deaky disco stylings, here's the latest from Richard Norris's T&SM. The original is more or less unadulterated psych/freakbeat straight outta 1967; the Psychemagik Remix beefs up the beats for floor appeal but the pick for me is the Mojo Filter Shiva Remix, which brings the subcontinental influences to the fore. This truly doesn't sound like much else around at the mo' – grab it while it's hot!
More info

Thanks also this week to: Alex Jangle, Biella & Astrall, Bunto, Dynamic Illusion, Enigma Dubz, G-Low, Hiem & Phil Oakey, Kate McLeod, Locomatica, Mark Holmes, Nik Fratarolli, Oscar L & DJ Boris, Paul Anthony & Mike Gillenwater, Sam Russo, Freeze Mask, Stefan K, Tom Hades, Tomcraft, Tony Kasper, Umek & Uto Karem… and last but by no means least, Tucillo & Kiko Navarro and P'taah, whose singles WOULD have got reviewed had they included all the mixes…

Desos - Unknown Groove EP

Desos is, for me, one of the hottest properties in deep house music right now, so a team-up with Martijn's equally hot Deep Edition Recordings should surely be cause for celebration, right? Throw in remixes from Huxley and Dudley Strangeways and it should be a no-brainer.

And, well… it is! You get two originals, Unknown Groove and She Loves Deep, plus a refix of each, from Dudley and Huxley respectively. The originals both do that 'fractured beat' thing while the rerubs are more straight-up 4/4 floor-friendly; for me it's the Huxley Mix of the latter that stands out above the rest, but whichever way you slice it these are four deep house nuggets of the highest calibre.

Which is all you need to know, really.

Out: This week

About: You can find Durham-based Deep Edition on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Oren Bi - Under Sleeve

If you're after more than just an EP full of club stompers, then this latest from Cork's ever-dependable Elevation Recordings should suit… this is deep house at its most cerebral and introspective.

That's not to say it's not it's all sofa-bound ethereal wispery… far from it. Both Under Sleeve (presented in three mixes) and bonus cut Need This Unlove have enough energy and drive about 'em to warrant floor play, for sure… it's just that crowd-pleasing drama and big hooks are eschewed in favour of a more slow-building, dreamy/druggy feel, while remixes from Nils Penner and Ron Deacon take the title track into even more experimental/leftfield pastures.

I dunno… words are failing me a bit on this one, to be honest! Suffice to say if you like your house music to be a little more challenging, then you need to check this one for yourself.

Out: This week

About: You can find Elevation on MySpace, Facebook and Soundcloud

PS And if anyone has any idea what the heavily-treated vocal is saying, do let me know. GF reckons it's "go home, the cat is burning", but I've got to say I'm not 100% convinced…

Nick Harris - Dispatches EP

Nick Harris, of NRK fame, debuts his new Stoned Immaculate imprint with this three-track EP.

Surfin' With Kilgore sees classic Chi-town sounds put through a tech-house filter, while Under Control is a dark, chugging workout that ventures even further into prog/tech territory. But the standout for me is Feel Like Movin', which has a looping male vocal and the kind of 'deep, soulful and slightly trippy' quality we once associated with Akabu records.

With three cuts aimed fair and square at the dancefloor, this is a strong start for the label and with Bristol's house scene currently undergoing something of a revanche, it's good to see one of its most established players still reppin' to the fullest.

Out: This week

About: You can find Stoned Immaculate (and HEAR THIS) on Soundcloud.

Da Funk - Clavia Aurea

Based on a rolling, tribally-inflected rhythm that sounds a little like Yeke Yeke played at 33, this latest from Switzerland's Daniel 'Da Funk' Kneub├╝hler comes not on his own Acryl Music but on Florida-based Dutchie. Think deep house with hints of prog, plenty of energy and an uplifting, euphoric feel.

There's just the one mix so, er… that's it, basically. But yeah, this is cool.

Out: This week

About: You can find Dutchie on MySpace, while there's more on Da Funk at his own website (where you can currently HEAR THIS) and Facebook page.

**UPDATE** Since posting this, I've been informed the full release WILL have three remixes… more info on those if and when....

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Gurhan - Between Us EP

Okay, the last one for today then, and it's a proper deep house gem… and from a brand-new label to boot!

It's a simple two-track affair. Between Us itself hits that sweetspot where it's got enough energy for floor play (though you'd want to pick the right floor – your local Oceana/Ritzys/etc might not be it), yet enough musical depth to for home listening as well, particularly at those times when you just wanna sit back and let the sofa do its best to eat you! With long, lingering pads and plenty in the way of dynamics and texture, it's bordering on prog if we're honest, but in the best possible of ways. Over on the B, meanwhile, What You Say operates in similar territory, but this time with a more Afro feel to the percussion.

The title track's the one for me but What You Say will have its fans for sure, making for a very strong first release.

Out: This week

About: As I said, this is the debut offering from a brand spanking new label. They're based in Istanbul, they're called Deep House Proposal and if every release is gonna be as good as this one, let's hope we hear more very soon! Find 'em online here, where you can also download a whole series of podcasts (the label having spun off from a club night that's been going for a few years now, y'see)

Yakka – Street Orchestra EP

All I really want to say about this latest release from Street King is that it had me going, "Oh yeah…" from about the first three seconds. But that wouldn't make for much of a review, would it?

So, looking at it a little more closely… the EP opens with Something For My Soul, a simply beautiful piece of piano-led house music with, ironically enough, an "Oh yeah" vocal refrain (that's used refreshingly sparingly), trumpets and some nice wibbly analogue synths sitting atop crisp, driving 4/4s. Never Knew Love Before is closer to classic King Street soulful house territory with its disco bassline and vocal, while Street Orchestra itself sees the pia-pia-pianos back to the fore on a gently lolloping little hip-swayer. Funky Feedback is a more party-tastic cut that's perhaps one for slightly more commercial floors, while finally Pumping Sax marries the eponymous instrument with tech-house beats and plenty of big room energy.

Not in love with Funky Feedback TBH but Never Knew Love Before, Street Orchestra and Pumping Sax are all very playable and Something For My Soul is downright superb – a jazzy, late-night groover you seriously need to check for yourself.

Out: This week on Traxsource, everywhere else from 5 March

About: Street King is of course an offshoot of NYC's mighty King Street Sounds.

Thomas Dieckmann - No Beggin' EP

Denmark's What Happens continue their run of form with this three-tracker from Copenhagen resident Thomas Dieckmann.

The EP opens up with Alcohol Abuse, which is yer archetypal straight-up deep houser with spoken (sampled) vocals and some classic-sounding stabs. Not much else to say except it's better than that half-arsed description makes it sound! Next up is No Beggin' itself, an even deeper, organ-tastic hip-shaker for late, late floors, while Taylor Made It brings the EP to a close with its crisp hi-hats, solid kicks and hypnotic, looping synth riff.

Three superlative dancefloor cuts '4 da headz'… as they say. Go seek.

Out: This week

About: I've sung What Happens' praises on here many times but seriously, they don't seem to be able to do much wrong this past year or so. Find 'em on MySpace and Facebook.

Mihalis Safras - Green EP

And speaking of Kling Klong (see Bolumar review below), here's another artist – Greek producer Mihalis Safras - who's known for his work with the Great Stuff family, but here crops up on Riva Starr's Snatch! Records.

Four tracks make up the Green EP. The title track is a midtempo tech-house chugger that's notable for doing strange things to the vocal from Kathy Brown's Turn Me Out, and also for a nice trippy breakdown in the middle. Faidon is a more driving, percussive affair with a rolling bassline, Goldtrix is a more esoteric number with fast n' furious hand percussion and an exotic, middle eastern feel, while Garoubalou is a jazz-tinged cut with much use of filters that's tailormade for strutting your way round a dancefloor to.

The latter's my pick, but a good range of styles make this EP worth checking for sure.

Out: This week

About: Here's where to find Snatch! Records online

Bolumar - Pressurized EP

A three-track offering here from Spain's Bolumar, who's made previous appearances on Kling Klong but here crops up on Middlesbrough's Luna Records.

Opener Down Low is an uncomplicated but groovy slice of bassy, chuggy tech-house. Even More takes us into slightly warped deep house territory, with that off-kilter, no-frills feel that characterised a lot of the output of Kerri Chandler's Madhouse label back in the day, while title track Pressurized is in a similar vein.

There's nothing here that's massively setting my world on fire or making me leap around the room, to be honest, but these are three solid dancefloor cuts all the same.

Out: This week

About: Here's the usual website and Facebook links for Luna Records.

Aad Mouthan - Organism

Feeling a bit more human today so let's try and get caught up with this week's releases, shall we? This one comes from a brand new Manchester-based label called State Records. They probably aren't actually named after my favourite club of all time, The State on Whitworth Street West (formerly the legendary Pips and Twisted Wheel, and home in the early 90s to the legendarily debauched Ethos all-nighters, with Ricky Moonboots at the helm – aah, memories!) but still.

Anyway, I digress, which isn't good when you've got lots to get through today. SO, this is a tuff-ish, slightly proggy tech-houser in its original form, with a preacherman-style vocal informing you that "you should be jacked up" and some nice little back-to-92 touches that recall the likes of Gat Decor's Passion. But the real action to these ears is on the B, where the Mr Pedro Remix is a deep n' groovy house slab with plenty of low-end to keep 'em moving in those wee small hours. Little wonder the Sankeys resident is already attracting attention from the likes of Subliminal and Nervous.

Out: This week

About: This is number three from State, and you can find out more about them at their website or on Facebook.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Rob Made – You And Me

When Robin Tabor of F*** House Music isn't being Robin Tabor of F*** House Music, he's busy being Rob Made of Sleazy Deep. Confusing, isn't it? And that's not counting every other weekend, when he's Roberta Lovehoney… but he's asked me not to mention that in public. So I won't.

Instead I'll tell you just how good this second offering from the new label really is. The original is an unhurried deep houser with a hint of nu-disco sheen that's all about the big, throbbing b-line and soulful female vocals… think Crazy P colliding with that Jamie Jones/Lee Foss/Crosstown Rebels sound and you're somewhere in the ballpark. Quality stuff.

As for the remixes… No Artificial Colours' rub is sparser and techier, using very little of the vocal and adding some brain-addling, Radiophonic Workshop-esque synth wibbles, a Gimenez Remix beefs up the beats and sports some more crazy synth action, and finally William Medagli serves up a much more driving, ballsy take which, while sounding current, has echoes of that big, dramatic Sound Factory vibe from days of yore.

It's between the latter mix or the Original for me but all four will do the do, making this well worth investigating.

Out: This week

About: You can find Sleazy Deep at their website or at Robin/Rob's own Facebook page, but probably the best place to start is their Soundcloud page where you can hear the whole catalogue to date and find some downloadable podcast goodness to boot.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

ALBUM Various - Best Of Lepento

Okay, so still in the grips of the dreaded man-flu right here… it's hard to summon up the energy or the motivation to do much of anything at all at the mo' to be honest. But I put this album on today, and it briefly took the blues away for a bit…

Regular readers will know by now that Lepento is the house/techno sister label to the dubstep/UK bass imprints LU10 and Four40. I've propped quite a few of their releases on here before now, but even I was taken aback by just how good this 'best of so far' comp really is, with nuggets that should suit no matter what style of contemporary house you're most into.

Cause & Affect's skippy, garage-y Jeans and Together open proceedings, then Corduroy Mavericks' House Journey gives us a taste of more commercial/crossover flavours, before we're back on a (simply gorgeous, soul-infused) garage tip with HapKido's Because I'm Waiting. HapKido then team up with NAIS for the jazz-inflected houser Boy, before Jayye Jackin' & Dappa D serve up the bumpin' and very now-sounding Oh Baby, from where we move into bouncy swing-tech number Ciao Ciao by Jimmy Raz and then the dark, rumbling tech-house of Keva's All Night Long, with its lyrical dig at boring DJs "playing the same beat all night long", and then… well, you get the idea, and that's only half the album covered! The rest is just as good though, trust me.

In a nutshell: 16 quality house tracks in a range of flavas, presented in full-length, unmixed format. What's not to love?

Out: A whole 8 days ago (30 Jan). I'm so behind the times…

About: You can find Lepento on MySpace and Soundcloud

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Oli Furness - Death Of A Music Box EP

Not so well at the moment, to be honest with you… so if updates are a little patchy for the next day or two you know why! But the show must go on as best it can, so tonight let's at least take time to listen to this rather lovely four-tracker from Oli Furness on new Manchester-based label Recore Records.

The title track Death Of A Music Box itself is a piano-centric deep house groove with female spoken vocals for the first half, that then gets progressively more tripped-out as it goes on. It's cool, but the more dancefloor-oriented Pete Dafeet Remix is doing it more for me I think. Elsewhere, Product is a slightly tuffer dancefloor cut with west coast-style chopped-up hiphop and soul vox (two of 'em), while finally Can't You See What's Happening To Us is a garage-y treat for the old skool lovers.

It's between the latter and Pete's rub of Death… for me, but to be fair it's a strong EP all round.

Out: This week

About: This is number three from Recore… here's their website, Facebook and Soundcloud

Monday, 6 February 2012

Yoram - Polder Funk EP

Moving on to this week's releases, then, and first out of the blocks – based on the highly scientific principle of starting at the end of the alphabet and working backwards – is this newie from our old friends in Essex, Endemic Digital.

The Polder Funk EP is a four-track affair. The title cut and Fenomeno operate in fairly straight-up, no-explanation-necessary deep/tech house territory, while Perfect Day (not the Lou Reed song, in case you were wondering) and Glow take us into slightly floatier, proggier pastures, though you'd still want to put them under the deep/tech banner overall.

Not got HUGE amounts to say about this one – not least because Endemic never seem to supply any real info with their mailouts these days! – but it's another solid bet from the label.

Out: This week

About: Hit up the Endemic Digital website for more