Monday, 30 April 2012

Da Fresh – Mind Funk'd

I'm not a big techno man, as you know… but it is nice to get some decent techno on TIWWD every so often and this is definitely decent techno.

Mind Funk'd comes from Freshin Records label boss Da Fresh, and there's just two of his own mixes to choose from. The Original Mix uses driving but quite house-y 4/4s as the basis for a nagging, off-beat bleeping synth hook, topped off with various other FX and sci-fi stabs for good measure, while on the Dub, things get even more sparse n' stripped, taking us to the fringes of 'minimal' territory but still with that head-frying synth in full effect.

A techno club groover that's got enough energy and enough unique charm to potentially win it friends outside of techno circles as well.

Out: Today

About: Freshin, a French label specialising mostly in techno and tech-house, can be found here, here and here (website, Facebook, Soundcloud)

Arkay, Barker & Deepmilo – Roll Again

The Kent boys serve up a slice of struttin' dancefloor deep house for Unrivaled Music.

There's just the two mixes to choose from. The Original marries tuffs snares reminiscent of Green Velvet's Flash to a jaunty, jazzy piano line and chopped-up, shouty/attitude-y fem vox, making for an infectious groover that'd be perfect for warm-up play cos it's almost physically impossible not to start shaking ya rump to it! On the B, Slavik K gives the track something of a disco injection, toning down the militant snares a notch in the process.

Good solid stuff that'll move dancefloors without a doubt.

Out: Today

About: This comes on Unrivaled Music, part as you know of the Endemic Digital family.

Alfred R – Alert In The Morning Light

Some typically high-quality deep house grooves courtesy of Romanian producer Alfred R on this latest from Deepwit.

There are two tracks in a total of four mixes. Got To Be Alert comes first, a dubby, percussive ride in its Original form that's then given a refix by Jeque, of Mexico's InfraDig Records, that ditches the reggae-fied elements in favour of a more sumptuous, garage-y groove. On the B, Morning Lights is a dreamy, chuggy afterhours/post-club affair to start with, then gets a slightly more floor-friendly makeover from City Soul Project, complete with a killer rave-y bass throb.

Classy stuff as ever from this Danish stable.

Out: Today

About: Find DeepWit at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Jay Bliss - The Art Of Doing Nothing EP

Only the second release here from a new label headed up by Alex 'Hypercolour' Jones, Ste Roberts and Dave 'MN2S' Elkabas. And if you're looking for stylistic clues in that last sentence, then Hypercolour's forward-thinking, leftfield house and techno rather than MN2S's uplifting vocal house are what you need to be thinking about.

Opener Doing Nothing is the most 'traditional' cut on offer, a fairly chunky deep house floor-groover with bubblin' sub-aquatic synths, a meaty bass riff and a simple three-note piano hook. X then takes us further into experimental pastures with its lo-fi crackles, skittish rhythms and sci-fi synth noises. The latter's accompanied by a 14-minute Petre Inspirescu mix that may appeal to fans of Plastikman, Aphex Twin et al, though I have to say it's a glitch too far for me personally… but digital bonus cut Atonement lets us end on a high, as Bliss relaxes the tempo and gets his dubwise skank on.

Out: This week

About: The new label from the Hypercolour/Glass Table/MN2S/1Trax boys is called Initials and can be found on Facebook and Soundcloud… you can also read an interview with them at Greg Fenton's Magazine Sixty

Dajae – Don't You Want My Love [Remixes]

A noteworthy pairing of old-school heroes now, as Kenny Dope serves up three remixes of Dajae's Don't You Want My Love from 2011.

The O'Gutta Remix is a fairly trad vocal affair but with some added techy/acid squelch, and comes accompanied by a mix called O'Gutta TV which is basically an instrumental of the same. S'cool, but top honours for me go to the Kenny Dope Bass Dubb (yeah, two b's), a stripped-down pass with Dajea's unmistakeable tonsils still in full effect but now screamin' out atop a dark room groove made up of hefty, bubblin' bass and those trademark razor-sharp Gonzalez beats.

Respect is due, as they say!

Out: This week

About: This comes atcha on Groove Odyssey, which is of course Bobby & Steve's label… actually strictly speaking it's run by Bobby & Steve with Michael Hughes but anyway, you can find 'em here.

Rob Clarke – The 100th Monkey EP

Some typically high-quality deep house grooves from Beats Me Music here, coming courtesy of label boss Rob Clarke.

There are six tracks/mixes to choose from… not gonna go into each one in infinite detail right now, but generally speaking, floor-friendly deep house with a slightly west coast-ish slant is the order of the day, with an added Italo/nu-disco twist to Lucid Reality. Apart from on Open Your Hat [sic] there's perhaps less of the soulful/garage-y slant you often get with Beats Me stuff, but fans of the label – and I count myself in that number – should nonetheless be very happy with this one. If pushed, I'd say Sidewinder is the pick but it's a close call.

Oh yeah, and it also comes with a little extra help from DK 'Short Bus Kids' Watts, who provides a remix of Blow Your Own Trumpet – surely a sign that the Eastbourne-based label's rep in the international deep house community is growing. And rightly so.

Out: This week

About: You can find Beats Me Music on Facebook and at their own website.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Jesus Pablo - The F Word

Four mixes here of the latest from Jesus Pablo, coming on Boston's Headtunes.

In its Original form, The F Word harks back to the days of deep Jersey garage with its simple piano loop, crisp beats, vocal wails and understated disco b-line. Tony S serves up a remix that's a touch more energetic and floor-oriented, while Tom Lown goes the other way and takes us further into late-night, sofa-surfing territory with glockenspiel (??) hits and pads that are a thousand miles wide. And then bringing the EP to a close, a refix from Poland's Robot Needs Oil is more stripped-down and techy with tons of space in the production, looping up the "running to you" vocal hook and adding some wicked organ drops.

Every bit as we've become accustomed to from the prolific Liverpudlian producer, with mixes to suit a range of moods/times/settings.

Out: This week

About: You can find Headtunes on Soundcloud, on Facebook and at their own website.

After speaking to Tom today I can now tell you it's not a glockenspiel, it's a marimba. I am useless. However Wikipedia lists them both as members of the xylophone family so I wasn't THAT far off!

Marc Cotterell – Untitled Tracks Vol 1

More traditional-style deep house vibes here courtesy of New Zealand's UM Records.

Untitled Track One kicks off the EP, a luxuriant, unhurried groove that's all pads, Rhodes chords, crisp hi-hats and chopped-up female vocal snips, an afterhours/post-club gem, while Untitled Track Two is more upbeat and floor-oriented, with a meandering jazzy sax taking centre stage. Brian Ffar then provides a remix of Untitled Track One that slowly builds from a moody, cinematic intro into a delicate, eyes-closed techy shuffle before finally The Messenger's refix of Untitled Track Two tones down the sax in favour of jerky, garage-y beats and tiny snippets of male vocal.

Again: quality bizniss all round.

Out: This week

About: UM Records is the label run by the same peeps responsible for Facebook's excellent Deep House Page. Find 'em on Soundcloud and, of course, on Facebook in their own right.

BeLeftBeRight - The Wings Of The Mind EP

Some top-quality deep house here from Deso Records, a label from whom we've come to expect nothing less.

BeLeftBeRight are Silvio Zanfardino and Ivan Garzone, two childhood buddies from Naples, Italy, and here they serve up a four-track EP. Beat Mentalist Box is an atmospheric, almost cinematic affair with fluttering synths, pads that go on forever and chopped-up breathy vocal snips. Exclusivity is a little slower and more laidback, riding a simple breakbeat with old-skool synth stabs and more of those long, lingering pads. I Can Do It ups the tempo a little but is still pretty mellow affair with its warm chords and gently tinkling ivories reminiscent of early Italo house, and then finally Fly High is a bigger, chunkier Rhodes-driven cut.

Classy stuff all round… but then as I said, we've come to expect nothing else from the Danish label.

Out: This week on Traxsource, everywhere else from 7 May.

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

Friday, 27 April 2012

Various - VR Collective

I think this is the first time I've come across UK label Voyeurhythm, though this V/A label sampler is apparently their ninth release since launching in 2009. On this evidence though, I'd definitely like to hear more.

Label co-owner Ben Sun kicks off the EP with Just Living, a refreshingly non-cheesy slice of soaring, discofied good-time house music. DJ HMC's Starr Trax follows, which is in a similarly disco-y vein but this time in more a 'down n' sleazy' kinda way, before Melbourne's Francis Inferno Orchestra gives us (yes, gives… it's just the one guy, despite the name) Father Figures, a deep/tech groover with a decidedly late-night, blissed-out feel. And then finally Tyson Ballard – another member of the triumvirate that run the label, the third parter being Mostyn – brings the EP to a superb close with the epic, atmospheric and somewhat 'New Jersey deep garage'-ish My House.

A varied EP with the quality bar set high, so looking forward to hearing more from these boys in future!

Out: This week

About: You can find out more at the Voyeurhythm website, Facebook and Soundcloud.

Various - Afterhours Miami 2012

I know what you're thinking and yes, it does seem a little late in the day for a Miami sampler! But ours is not to reason why…

Dennis Ferrer kicks off proceedings with How Do I Let Go, a fairly straight-up vocal houser featuring the male R&B-ish stylings of the late KT Brooks, who sadly passed away in 2008 aged just 30. It'll go down well in the soulful clubs for sure, while Chocolate Avenue's Hot And Salted, despite featuring a pretty full-on diva vocal, could also work on deep house floors thanks to its big, squelchy electrofunk b-line. But the standout for me is UK producer Chris B's Riddle Me This, a somewhat techier affair that builds quite early, then shimmies and sways along quite nicely once it gets there in a 'dancing with your eyes shut' kinda way.

Out: This week on Traxsource, not sure about elsewhere.

About: This is on Street King, the more upfront/contemporary arm of the King Street empire.

Soul Button – Shadows EP

Something of a mystery release this one, because Soul Button is, according to the label, "a talented old producer who's really well-known in the house music business but doesn't want to show his identity. He wants to focus on the music rather than his old image." And no, I don't know who it is… for all I know this very credible and now-sounding slab of soulfully-infused tech-house could be the work of, I dunno, Adamski or Guru Josh or someone. Or David Guetta. Brrrr.

Actually, let's not worry too much about that and concentrate on what it sounds like. There are four tracks on offer – Shadows itself, Shine and Talking, which features fellow Steyoyoke artist Bartok and comes in a choice of vocal or dub mixes. And yeah, 'soulfully-infused tech-house' pretty much sums it up but if you want a touch more detail, Shine features a vocal from La Phoenix that reminds me a little of Billie Ray Martin, Shadows rides a slightly funkier groove and has heavily-distorted male vox, while Talking is dramatic, cinematic and sweeping, and veers a little closer to prog territory.

Skinny-jeaned young hipsters are gonna love this one. I don't mind it myself either, particularly Talking… let's just hope it doesn't turn out to be by anyone too embarrassing, eh?

Out: This week

About: This is only the third release from new Berlin-based label Steyoyoke… click for their website or here's their Soundcloud and Facebook pages. Oh yeah, and I nearly forgot… here's a free downloadable mix from Soul Button as well.

Giuseppe Rizzuto - I Can't Go On EP

Once more we'll start the day's reviews with a nice easy two-tracker… this one coming from Sounds Of Juan and Giuseppe Rizzuto, who's but 22 years old and hails from Agrigento in Sicily.

The hype sheet cites the Detroit techno of Derrick May et al and the house music of Defected as key influences for Rizzuto, but it's definitely the influence of the latter that's more evident here. Not that this is in any way a retro outing, you understand: instead, the two tracks here – I Can't Go On itself and Moonlight – are textbook examples of the more tech-y end of the contemporary tech-house spectrum. I'd suggest there's hints of that East European techno sound, too.

As such, they're perhaps a little TOO techy for yours truly to get majorly over-excited about… but, being as percussive as they are, they'd make useful tools in a set for sure. And if harder, more techno-fied tech-house is your bag you should definitely check this.

Out: This week

About: Sounds Of Juan is of course part of the Endemic Digital stable… as I keep saying… 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Gurhan - Between Us (Remixes)

Fresh from new Istanbul-based label Deep House Proposal comes this two-tracker from Gurhan featuring remixes by Subsky and Terry Lee Brown Jr.

In Subsky's hands, Between Us is a proggy, throbby deep houser that'd sit very well with the Incepto Deep release below, with its rumbling bottom end and soaring synths that get just a wee bit Balearic-sounding as the track progresses. Terry Lee Brown Jr's rub, on the other hand, still packs plenty of low-end welly, but this time marries it with skittery, bruk-ish rhythms and less of the atmospherics.

The latter makes me feel a little bit anxious though, truth be told, so it's Subsky's rub all the way for me.

Out: This week

About: This is actually only the second single from Deep House Proposal – the first being the original release of Between Us. But there's more goodness to come I'm sure – in the meantime check their Tumblr blog for some rather fine podcasts you can download.

Anturage & Andrey Potyomkin – Starlight

LA-based, Russian-run label Incepto Music, normally known for their uplifting progressive house sound, have been venturing into deeper waters of late, thanks to the launch of new sub-label Incepto Deep. And do you know what? On the evidence I've heard so far, they're really rather good at it…

The A-side here, Starlight, is a straight-up deep house throbber, with perhaps just the tiniest hints of prog in its use of reverberating synths, but also with an almost garage-y feel to the floaty, echo-y female 'woohs'. Think sunny summer sessions, warm-up sets or post-club chillage: wherever you play it, this is sumptuous music you can lose yourself in. Me like.

On the B, the instrumental The Forgotten is a little more obviously dancefloor-oriented with its reasonably tough 4/4 kick, but again the overall vibe is drifty n' dreamy, with a rich and satisfying bottom end to keep your ass moving while your eyes close and your mind ventures off elsewhere.

Very classy stuff indeed, in both cases.

Out: This week

About: Incepto Deep doesn't seem to have much a web presence of its own as yet, but here's the Soundcloud and Facebook pages for the mothership label.

Miami Ice – The Way You

Another simple two-tracker here from Germany's Markus Greulich, AKA Miami Ice, who's previously appeared on the likes of Lost My Dog and Endemic Digital.

The Original of The Way You is fairly heads-down and moody deep/tech chugger, though looping vocals and a killer organ line bring the musicality and save it from being just another set-filler track. File this one somewhere between east London and the east midlands! Over on the B, meanwhile, Demi (of Be Yourself/SOS/Balance fame) serves up a percussion-led remix that takes the track into prog/tech territory.

It's the original all the way for me, though – when you've got a top-drawer organ line like that, why on Earth would you ditch it? It's insanity, that's what it is.

Out: This week

About: This comes on fledgling UK label Form-and Function, who are themselves connected to the Endemic Digital empire and who can be found on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Oh yeah and if you dig this then also check Miami Ice's track Kehta from Endemic's Three Years On compilation… now that really IS a killer organ track!

Sebastian Davidson - Earthrise EP Remixes

Sebastian Davidson Earthrise
Ever-reliable Dutch producer Sebastian* serves up a remixed version of last December's Earthrise EP on his own Nightbird Music.

Up And Pg take care of remix duties on Earthrise itself, serving up a deep and fairly slow cut with the slightest of prog/tribal leanings, topped off with female vocal wails that sound almost like birdcalls. J Kar does the honours on Last Love Found with a late-night, driftaway kinda rub, and then finally BarBQ remix Johnny, adding a techier edge to what was originally a pretty mellow groover.

File under 'tracky shit' rather than 'peaktime slammers' but yeah, this is good stuff… Nightbird don't really do anything else!

Out: This week

About: You can find Nightbird here, here and here (Facebook/MySpace/Soundcloud)

*NOT French, as I said before.

Gary DF - Hard Revolution

From the title you might think this was some sort of horrible hard dance thing… then again if it was it wouldn't be on TIWWD, would it? Instead, what we have here are two cuts of percussive deep/tech-house. Phew.

Hard Revolution itself works a steady 4/4 kick, a bassline I'd want to describe as 'bouncy' if it wasn't so quietly understated and some pleasing synth warbles, all topped off with spoken, sampled Spanish or Italian vox (not sure which). An eyes-wide-shut groove for 4am floors, basically. On the B, Better Than Silence rides a more shuffly, Latin-y rhythm topped off with some groovy keyboard work. Nice.

Out: This week

About: This comes on French label HOF – Hall Of Fame Records. Find 'em on Soundcloud, on Facebook and at their own website.

Dub Modo – Key From All Doors

Some seriously deep vibes here from Russian producer Dub Modo on Nite Grooves.

In its Original form, Key From All Doors is a spacey, dubby deep house-meets-deep techno groover made for warm-up, afterhours or post-club play. It's top-drawer stuff, but be warned: it's one for those that like it sparse and head-y, and those in search of lingalonga peaktime thrills will need to look elsewhere! A Locarini Remix then takes us into more uptempo and percussive tech-house territory.

The finished EP will also apparently contain a couple more tracks called New Step and Travel Comet, but they've not promo'd those so I can't tell you what they sound like! On the basis of the title track alone, though, this is one you need to check.

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from May 20

About: Nite Grooves is, as you know, part of the mighty King Street stable.

audioJazz - Momentum

More fresh vibes from the US of A here, this time from a trio based in Chicago and coming on their own label.

Just the two tracks to choose from (and props to them for not, therefore, trying to label it as an 'EP'... a personal bugbear I noticed Mixmag having a grumble about this month as well). Momentum itself is a slow-burning, jazz-tinged groover with tribal/bruk influences in the percussion and a neat line in gently undulating organ/pad sounds, understated trumpets and softly tinkling ivories. It's more one for warm-up play than anything but it's very cool all the same. On the B, meanwhile, Take A Chance is a more uptempo affair with solid, steady kicks, disconcerting vocal overlays and some more nifty keyboard work… plus a little 303 squelch for good measure.

Interesting, slighly esoteric stuff for the more discerning heads.

Out: This week

About: As stated, this comes on the artists' own audioJazz Music imprint, which is just five releases old. Here's their website, or you can find 'em on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Data Vault – Need You

A nice easy one to start with today cos there's just the two mixes! It's also the debut release from a new label, which is always exciting.

In its Original form, Need You is a tuff-ish tech-house roller with the emphasis on the slightly Afro percussion and "need you" vocal, backed up by voice-as-instrument stabs and pushing synths. Remix duties are then taken care of by Terry Lee Brown Jr, in whose hands Need You becomes a far mellower and deeper affair, 7.5 minutes of pulse and chug with a dubby, 'tribal jazz' kinda feel.

Two quite different mixes, then, but both are strong dancefloor propositions, making for a very respectable start for the label.

Out: This week

About: This comes to you courtesy of brand new NYC-based imprint Undulate Recordings, which is headed up by Billy Disciple and Al Alvarez… the latter of whom also goes by Data Vault, funnily enough. Anyway, you can find them here, here and here (website/FB/Soundcloud)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Various – DeepWit Uncovered Vol 1

A five-track, five-artist sampler here from Denmark's ever-excellent DeepWit, or to be more precise sub-label DeepWit Uncovered.

First up is Max Volkholz with Conflicts, a proper bassy 4am throbber for the proper underground house floors. Tony S comes next with Love This Feeling, a near-instrumental cut with echoes of old skool Detroit. Big AL's Hypnotized follows, a shuffly, shaker-y affair with dreamy female spoken vocals ("you will fly… hypnotized by the look in your eyes") that's got 'Ibiza terrace' written all over it – but not in a cheesy way – while Ali Ayhan serves up Save Your Soul, a tripped-out late-night journey that'd work equally well on afterhours floors or the sofa. Asona then brings the EP to a close with Feel The Love, a slightly funkier, blissed-out dancefloor groover with analogue synths, pianos and male vocal wails providing the musical interest.

Five artists, five tracks and not a dud among 'em. Go seek.

Out: This week

About: Here's where to find DeepWit online… website Facebook Soundcloud

Mr G - Danceholics EP

Now here's a producer who needs no introduction from me. Colin Bean, AKA Mr G, has been a stalwart of the UK tech-house scene since it began (he says, introducing him) and his productions seldom disappoint. This one doesn't, either.

We're in familiar territory, right enough – there are no big surprises from the former Advent man here. But if it ain't broke, as they say!  Danceholics itself is dramatic big-room tech with spoken "Haven't I seen you someplace before?" vocal samples. Don't Ever Give Up marries firing, Latin-inspired percussion with a big fat b-line and an almost garage-like sumptuous, rich sound, and comes with an accompanying Dub, while finally Guidance [T2 Edit] is a more stripped-down and strobe-lit jacker, sporting insistent fierce female vocal snips and a throbbing bassline that just doesn't stop.

Like I said, Mr G's been doing this stuff since time… and he still does it better than most, nuff said!

Out: This week

About: This comes on 10-inch vinyl (and digital download) and is the debut release on brand new label Holic Trax, an offshoot of London-based Japanese producer Tomoki Tamura's parties of the same name. More info at their website and Soundcloud page.

Ben Dean feat Bryony Matthews - Find Me

From one Ben to another… this one's called Ben Dean, and is a Manchester-based Kiwi who now returns to the label where he made his production debut some nine years ago, Al Bradley's 3am Recordings. And the prodigal son doesn't disappoint, with a sterling slab of straight-up deep house in five mixes.

The original's a mid-paced affair with Chicago-esque bass and a yearning, soulful vocal from Ms Matthews. Remixes then come from the pick of the UK deep house crop. Label boss Al serves up a dark and moody dancefloor dub with a big fat bassline that comes remarkably close to 'bassline' territory (or at least 'bassline house' territory, before it went all cheesy and urban-electro). Long-term cohort Carlo Gambino takes us on another deep, dark n' dubby ride, but this time one that's more suited to home listening/post-club play, Rob Clarke keeps the vocal intact but beefs up the beats and ups the tempo a little while finally, Ben himself dons his Backfoot guise for a steppy, laidback, garage-y pass.

Classy stuff all round, with Backfoot and Al sharing the honours for me.

Out: This week

About: Find 3am Recordings on Facebook and Soundcloud if you want to know more – you can HEAR THIS at the latter too.

Ben Muetsch - Day One EP

Coming on fledgling US label Dance Through Life – this is only their seventh release – is this four-track EP of house vibes from Ben Muetsch, a 25-year-old DJ, producer and multi-instrumentalist from Stuttgart, Germany.

Day One itself is a percussive instrumental groover that takes its influences equally from classic NYC-style house and the techier, contemporary sound of east London and Berlin. Funky Drummer is another drum-led affair but, you guessed it, a tad funkier, while Moods is a more sweeping, cinematic kinda cut. There's also a fourth track called Love Rhythm but I can't tell you what that one's like cos it wouldn't download!

With the emphasis firmly on the rhythms, these'll make useful DJ tools for sure…

Out: This week

About: Here's the usual links for Dance Through Life – website Facebook Soundcloud – though the website doesn't seem to want to play as of right this second. For me, anyway.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Submantra & DJ Umbi - 707 EP

You can't fault DCS Trax on the value-for-money front with this latest release, its two tracks coming in a whopping six mixes.

First up is 707 itself. The original's a late-night deep house groover with disembodied vocals floating atop a chunky synth bassline and crisp percussion, and with something of a blissed-out, Balearic feeling overall. The Sleeper Remix beefs up the beats and emphasises the track's trippy, dreamy qualities, making this a perfect heads-down cut for afterhours floors, while Holland's Mark Mywords takes us on a funkier, subaquatic kinda ride.

Lurking on the B, meanwhile, you'll find Give Me Your Love. In its Original form, this is a midtempo, soulfully-inclined deep houser with a full-phat b-line, that's equally well suited to dancefloor play or home listening. The Universal Solution Remix busies up the top-end in a more head-y, driftaway and at times slightly proggy take, while the Alex V Remix goes in the opposite direction, stripping back the beats to turn the track into a sparse-but-sumptuous bass-heavy eyes-wide-shut 4am groover.

A quality package all round, with Mark Mywords' mix of 707 just taking the gold for me and Alex V's take on Give Me Your Love a close second.

Out: Today

About: Run by Craig Stewart, DCS Trax is part of the Universe Media family and can be found online here and here (website/Soundcloud)

Michael King - CTRL+S

The latest from Hype Muzik, part of Norman H's Stripped empire, comes from Michael King, and features mixes to suit a range of jocks.

In its Original form, CTRL+S is a decidedly disco-leaning affair, with a guitar loop that reminds me a little of Sister Sledge for some reason, unhurried natural-sounding percussion, vintage Ibiza-style pianos and an analogue top line that comes in halfway through. Ed Lee's Alt Del Remix maintains the Original's slower pace but adds "free your body, free your soul" vox and a phat bassline.

In Wez Saunders' hands, the track is then reworked into a driving tech-houser with some heavyweight, tribal bottom end, though the analogue synth and pianos remain to bring the light, while finally the Dan Styles Remix takes us into quirkier tech-house territory, with off-kilter beats and an even-more-heavyweight ponderous techno b-line.

Ed Lee does it best for me here I think but as I said, there's enough variety on offer for this to have quite broad appeal.

Out: Today

About: Find Hype Muzik/Stripped Muzik Club at their blog, on Facebook and on Soundcloud.

Robba - The Secret EP

Some nice chunky tech-house grooves here courtesy of Manchester Underground Music and Dutch producer Robba.

The Secret itself is the most upbeat and also the most technofied of the three tracks on offer, working busy, Latin-tinged percussion, a walking b-line and not one but three, thankfully not over-extended atmospheric breakdowns. It'll work on the floor I'm sure, but better to these ears is 1988, a more heads-down, chuggy affair with some seriously phat bottom end (and one that's not as retro as the title might suggest). And then finally Just Let Me brings the EP to a close, which is even more funkified, with some lush garage-style piano chords and female vocal snips bringing the musical warmth.

The latter, unsurprisingly, is the standout for me, but all told this a strong and varied EP from this ever-checkable Manc imprint.

Out: Today!

About: The best place to find Manchester Underground Music is on Facebook.

Cesar Coronado – Crazy Position EP

Some classic-style deep house vibes here coming on Flumo Recordings, a label from Seville, Spain that recently relocated operations to the UK.

In total you get three mixes of the title track, plus bonus cut The Way I Feel I About You. In its original form, Crazy Position is a mid-paced chugger with tons of bottom end, soulfully-inclined vocal snips and some neat parping Gabriel-ish sax stabs. The Atapy Remix doesn't really change a huge amount except give the track a slighty more stop-start feel akin to nu-disco, but it's still good.

Ed Maddams' Soul Dub Mix takes us on a slower, more electronic, east London-sounding ride, though I can't help feeling that, by ditching most of the vocal, a lot of the track's soul has actually been lost. There's some nice vibes action on this rub, though! And then finally, The Way…  is a more jerky and jackin' cut aimed fair and square at the afterhours floors, that surprises by NOT sampling the Luther classic you might be assuming it does!

It's actually the latter that's probably my pick of the whole EP, with the Original of Crazy Position a close second, but all told, this is solid stuff from this rising Mexican producer.

Out: Today!

About: You can find Flumo Recordings at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud. Naturally.

Ryan Start - Don't Get Caught

Y'know I said yesterday there was a mountain of tuneage to get through this week? Well it's true, there is. So much in fact that it's a bit daunting… where do we start?

So we'll start with this one. Partly because it's by a chap called Start, which seems serendipitous… and partly because it's a nice easy one to review, with just two tracks! Funky Uppers on the A is an uncomplicated rolling house groove, with an understated funky b-line and some nice Hammond organ wobbles,  while on the B, Tek-No is a slightly tuffer and, unsurprisingly, techier affair.

Both tracks are fully instrumental and neither really requires me to wax any more lyrical either, but both will move bodies on dancefloors without a doubt.

Out: Thursday (26 April)

About: This comes on Detroit techno label Detox Recordings – visit them at their website or on Soundcloud.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Kaua – Spuma EP

Some serious deepness here from Switzerland's ever-excellent Acryl Music and Japanese producer Kaua.

The title track Spuma itself is the most obviously dancefloor-oriented of the three tracks on offer, a deep n' moody groover topped off with dreamy, floaty, proggy twiddles. Next up, Abelia is a late-night, sofa-surfin' kinda thang with ambience galore, periodic injections of fat squelchy bass, mournful brass and glitchy broken/two-step beats.

But while those are both very cool, the killer to these ears is Owni, which is as fine a slice of heavy dub-inspired deep house/deep techno bizniss as you'll hear all week. In fact it's probably closer to straight-up dub than anything… but that's by no means a problem, obviously. Crucial vibes, seen?

Out: For a couple of weeks on Beatport, but getting a full worldwide release this week.

About: Find Acryl Music at their website, on MySpace and on Soundcloud.

So many tunes, so little time 13

Okay, got an absolute mountain of new tuneage to get through this week… but first, here's some of the goodies we didn't get round to last week.

Alex M – Slight Shiver EP
A retrofied house three-tracker here from Four Fingers Hand that wears its early Chicago influences on its sleeve. I'm not 100% convinced by the vocal on lead cut In Night to be honest, despite some great sounds otherwise, but I'm liking Who, a funky-assed, stripped-down drum workout.

Kerkez – Mandarin Orange EP
Some leftfield-leaning deep house vibes here from the producer who brought us Garage Loop a few months back. Trails his forthcoming long-player, Boi.

Marco Finotello ft Lily Latuheru – Weooh
The vocal on this one's a bit poppy for these ears but if you can handle that, then some decent west coast-ish house vibes lurk beneath! Five mixes to choose from, but sadly no instrumental (though they were kind enough to also send over an unreleased, deeper Mpeshnyk Remix that's really rather good).

Marissa Guzman – Joy Road (Remixes)
Another one from the poppier end of the west coast house spectrum, with eight tracks in a total of 17 mixes. 17 mixes! So with rubs from Kerri Chandler, Mr V, Corduroy Mavericks and Black Coffee, plus a host of lesser-known names, I'm sure you'll find something to play…

Onionz – NY Thunder
The legendary Onionz serves up some tuff techy/tribal/prog vibes on Canada's Mile End. Worth checking if that's your bag for sure.

Sean Biddle & Mike Gillenwater – Party!
More of Nocturnal Recordings' trademark uptempo, party-hearty jacking disco-house stylings, from two producers well known for exactly that.

Shane Long & Kane Harris – You Got Meh
Some decent tech-house vibes here on Endemic Digital, with the slighty deeper Oki Noki Remix the pick of the crop for me.

YokoO – Blinded EP
Some jackin' deep/tech house from Julian Beltzun, AKA YokoO, coming on 22 Digit, who haven't been on here for a while so sorry this didn't get a bigger review lads! But it's strong stuff all the same, with Kai Limberger's deeper rub and Graham Laverty's big, dark bass throbber particularly worthy of your attention.

Zoo Brazil – Selected
A techno/tech-house groover from Sweden's Zoo Brazil, aimed fair and square at the dancefloor with its rave sirens. D.Ramirez provides a no-nonsense driving Tekno Disko Remix.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

d00sh - Nights Of Freedom

Happy 50th release anniversary to Sounds Of Juan! They're celebrating with a new release from label stalwarts D00sh, AKA Danny Oliver and Ian Cheshire, whose Sounds Of Juan EP at the start of 2011 launched the label.

As I guess befits the single's 'milestone' status, there's no shortage of mixes on offer… seven of 'em to be precise, so you'll forgive me I hope if I don't go into each one individually. But tech-house is the general order of the day, obviously, with rubs that veer from one end of that spectrum to the other and with some druggier, proggier rubs for good measure.

For those in search of the house vibes, I'd suggest label boss Wez Saunders' mellower, organ-flecked refix or Oki Noki's acid-wibblin' dancefloor workout are the first places to head… with more energetic/uplifting/Ibiza-friendly Original and In Plain Sight remixes also worth checking.

Out: This week

About: As ever, the place to keep up with all things Sounds Of Juan-related is at the Endemic Digital website.

Carlo - From X To You

Is it just me or have we not had anything from Elevation Recordings for a while? Anyway no matter, because the latest from the Cork, Eire-based label is right here.

If Elevation had a speciality – and it's hard to say because they've put out various styles over the years – it'd probably be deep house with a heads-down, proggy feel, in which case the Original version of From X To You itself fits the blueprint perfectly, with "I don't care" female vox and warm, reverbed synth chords looping throughout. A remix from Baldo doesn't really do very much different at all, except use a little less of the vocal and perhaps let the midrange shine through a little more… maybe its subleties are lost on me, I don't know! On the B, Somewhere In The Dark has a similarly moody, proggy feel, this time with male half-spoken/half-sung vocal snips and a nice big chunky b-line. Chesperito's 909 Remix then takes us into slightly techier territory.

I'll be honest*: for me, this isn't of the gobsmacking standout mindblowing calibre that Elevation are often capable of. But it's solid enough stuff all the same, and more prog-leaning jocks in search of reliable warm-up/early set material, in particular, would be advised to check it. Plus there's that b-line on Somewhere In The Dark, which does bring the funk quite nicely…

Out: This week

About: Elevation can be found on Facebook and Soundcloud.

*I don't see much point in being anything else: if I didn't call 'em the way I hear 'em, if I just said everything was 'amazing', there'd be little point in you reading this blog. Besides, I'm Aries and from Yorkshire, so it's not like I've got a lot of choice!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Kate Simko & Matt Tolfrey - The Same Page EP

Strong stuff as ever from Leftroom here, from the transatlantic team of London boy Matt Tolfrey and Chicago-based Kate Simko.

It's a three-track affair, so taking them one by one… Take It Easy opens proceedings, a shuffle-y number boasting an interesting combination of warm keyboard sounds that will appeal to the older househeads and colder synth sounds that will please the East London hipsters. No Shame features a cool b-line that throbs away unassumingly throughout, again topped off with very 'now'-sounding synths. And then finally Lazy B is where the Chicagoan influences really come to the fore, with a squelchy, rough-edged b-line, handclaps and space-disco stabs providing the backdrop for, yep, more of those 'future retro' synths.

I can't help thinking that perhaps one just one vocal cut wouldn't have gone amiss – there's only so many too-cool-for-school synth instrumentals these ears can take before a little human warmth and a little sex appeal are required. But this is bang in line with current tastes, and a good example of its particular micro-genre – with just enough funk flowing through its veins to have appeal beyond just the skinny-jeaned youngsters who are its most immediately obvious target market.

Out: This week

About: Leftroom can be found at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud

Kohib - Solar Day EP

"Prime examples of Norwegian electronic music, ranging from nu-disco to slinky house music to downtempo electronica," is how the hype sheet bills this one. So let's see…

Well, opener So Good certainly has the house part covered: a throbbing, pulsing organ cut from the get-go, any dancefloor that doesn't shake to this is a dancefloor I have no interest in being on. Something of a Plastic Dreams-y feel to the mid-section, too. Next up, Don't Tease The Bumblebee ticks the nu-disco box with its glacial analogue synths and pulsating, arse-shaking b-line. Escape Velocity then covers the downtempo part of the equation… cinematic electronica like this isn't really my area but it's pleasant enough, mellow without being nice-y nice-y, and trippy around the edges without being all "ooh look at me, I'm so weird and different, aren't I?". And then finally we come to Solar Day itself, which sits stylistically somewhere between the last two tracks, the Italo synths returning over a less frenzied backbeat.

So the hype sheet's description is accurate enough, but is the EP actually any good? Well, it's a good showcase for Øivind Sjøvoll AKA Kohib's obviously wide-ranging production skills, certainly. Escape Velocity isn't really my kinda thing but I can see the quality; Solar Day and Don't Tease The Bumblebee I could see myself playing in the right circumstances, but if I was buying this, it'd be for So Good alone, really.

Thankfully, So Good is worth the price of admission on its own anyway. So that's okay.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Norwegian label Beatservice, who can be found on Facebook.

Friday, 20 April 2012

London Electric Orchestra - Deep Moves EP

F*** House Music label boss Robin Tabor dons his London Electric Orchestra guise once more for this three-track EP.

The headline event has to be If Ever You're Lonely, a remake of the 2002 Joi Cardwell cut featuring none other than Ms Cardwell herself. Something of a coup for the label, and if you're in search of traditional vocal house vibes, you won't find much better this month. Stuck, by way of contrast, is a much, much deeper, warm-up/post-club kinda thang, with two minutes of beatless, atmospheric intro, shimmering pads that go on forever and barely-there snatches of spoken female vocal.

But the standout for me is Want What, a garage-y Rhodes groove with chopped vocal stabs and some subtly-applied sax appeal… sterling stuff.

Out: Just

About: Just to confuse matters, Robin is also Rob Made of Sleazy Deep fame… and a 32yo plumber from Ipswich called Dave, and a teenaged girl called Claire. Multiple personality syndrome is a terrible and tragic thing. Anyway, you can find F*** House Music at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud.

Doomwork - Club Abduction The Singles Pt 2

Italy's Claudio Maura and Alessandro Lacavalla, AKA Doomwork, drop the second taster for their forthcoming Club Abduction album.

Stardust is the track in the spotlight, presented here in just two mixes: the Original plus a Pezzner Remix. The original is a simple, looping deep house groove, with an old-school bassline that doesn't really make itself felt until two minutes in. Top that off with atmospheric rainforest sounds, warm chords, 'brother' vocal inserts and some subtle jazzy licks later on and what you've got is 6:38 of heads-down bliss for the deep floors. Dave Pezzner then takes the track in a slightly sparser direction, with subtly-applied filters, a gentle piano line and some freaky-deaky analogue synth warps n' warbles at the end.

The original wins out for me I think but whichever you opt for, this is the real deal underground house shiznit right here.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Street King, though it wouldn't have sounded out of place on more traditional sister label Nite Grooves either. If like me you're now greatly looking forward to the album, it might also be worth following Doomwork on Facebook to keep abreast of developments.

Joss Moog - That Old Feeling

The clue's in the name here, with four tracks that evince a strong sense of nostalgia for musical days gone by.

The title track, for instance, is a lo-slung n' moody, garage-y organ groove with echo-ing percussion and insistent, repeating vocal stabs. Blue Paradise ups the retro ante further with its sampled funk loop, That's What UR puts another sampled vocal snatch over handclaps, sparse percussion and a fat, driving disco b-line while Xtra Beatz is a simple and fairly self-explanatory DJ tool.

Wheels do a pretty good job of making things move around… there's not actually any need to keep on reinventing them. And sometimes it's the same with house music, especially if you're going to revisit classic sounds with as much panache as Mr Moog has here.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Phil Weeks' label Robsoul Recordings.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Drummer & Hanfry Martinez - Looking Back/Just Dance

The work of two producers from the Canary Islands here, coming on Italian label Lowpitch.

Just Dance is the most overtly house-ified of the two tracks, a stripped-down chugging affair just the way we like 'em, percussion-led but with enough subtle variation in the background/ambient sounds to maintain the interest. Looking Back meanwhile is just a little tougher and techier, with a pleasing French Kiss-ish throb about it.

Good stuff – let's hope we hear more from these two soon.

Out: This week

About: I don't think Lowpitch have featured on here before… here's where to find 'em online if you want to know more: website Facebook Soundcloud

Chris Burns – 410 Paradox Underground presents…

Another new label, this one headed up by no less a personage than Ultra Nate. For the label's debut offering, they present a seven-track EP from Washington DC-resident Chris Burns.

Legends is a truly deranged dark n' druggy percussion workout with shouted (as in shouted, not spoken) aggro-queen vocals, coming in Original and even-sparser Walk Dub flavas. Shake! continues with the big dark room vibes, another strobe stomper with a nagging organ sound and big diva vox that also comes with an accompanying dub. We Get Deep is in a similar vein only sans diva, I'm Free is a more musical, soulful affair with vocals from Denise Henderson and Michelle Webb, and then finally with Hey Mick we're back to the big Vasquez/Murk-y drums.

There's not a HUGE amount of variety on offer, then, but no matter: this is music made for big dark rooms and dingy red-lit basements, and it'll work well there for sure.

Out: This week

About: Can't seem to find a website for 410 Paradox Underground, but you can follow the lovely Ultra on Twitter if you're into that kind of thing.

Toyboy & Robin – Loving You EP

Another week, another new label… this week's new arrival being Cool Kid Music, run by London boys Toyboy & Robin themselves.

This first release from the label is a three-tracker, with two mixes of Loving You plus bonus cut Don't Stop. In its original form, Loving You is a meandering, slightly proggy cut with a pitched-up sample from Donna Allen (or Strike if you're an old cheesy quaver), while the TCTS Remix takes us into jerkier, chopped-up territory – one for the future garage crew, methinks, particularly once the spastic rhythm settles down into a pacier groove topped off with some delicious M1 (?) drops and a warping b-line. And then finally, Don't Stop is a soulful, broken-beated workout that samples Luther and puts him alongside some almost trance-y arpeggiating synths.

It's interesting, genre-agnostic stuff… interesting rather than stone-cold essential, perhaps, but it's always good to see someone new giving it a go. So show some love and check it out for yourselves!

Out: This week

About: Cool Kid Music seem to mostly live on Facebook at the moment. Oh no, hang on… here they are on Soundcloud as well.