Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Various – Full Circle EP

Various Full Circle EP 5 And Dime
A five-track EP of deep grooviness here from the ever-reliable 5 And Dime stable. Actually, I say five-track but now I come to look it seems only three have downloaded – don't remember that happening.  I'll just have to tell you about the three I've got...

So, Quin's You Are It is a dark, moody, slow-paced affair in its Ben A Remix form, a track that owes as much to deep techno as it does to deep house. The same track, as remixed by Maxim Laskavy & Derek Turcios, becomes a dubbed-out deep house workout bordering on chill-out territory, while finally (for me) label stalwart Zach DeVincent's Cabrillo Hwy is a somewhat more uptempo number, but still one aimed fair and square at lovers of the deep… especially lovers of the 'deep with a little bit of prog around the edges'.

Obviously I can't tell you what the other two are like but on the evidence of these three tracks, plus the fact that this fledgling label really haven't put a foot wrong so far, you're unlikely to be disappointed!

Out: This week

About: You can find 5 And Dime at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud.

House of Stank – Make U Jack 2012

House Of Stank Make U Jack 2012 Get Up Recordings
In which House of Stank's 2008 Dust Traxx offering gets another run-out with new mixes from Inland Knights, Manny Ward and HoS themselves.

Also included are the original mix plus the original set of re-rubs from Ron Carroll, The Connection and Santiago & Bushido, making a whopping seven mixes in total. And with a remix line-up like that, and a title like Make U Jack – which does pretty well sum up what this track's all about – it's hard to imagine any decent house DJ not finding something to play here. I'm not gonna go into all seven mixes individually – I've got a cold and a headache and couldn't really claim to be in the mood – but the IKs rub and HoS's own refix stand out for me. Like I said though, you can't really go wrong with this package.

Remember: "There's only one track that'll make you jack, one groove that'll make you move, and that's house"!

Out: This week

About: This comes on Get Up Recordings, HoS's own, US-based label. They're just eight releases old but have already put out material by the heavy-hitting likes of Tedd Patterson and Honey Dijon… and here's where to find them if you want to know more.

DJ competition: Northern Foundation

Northern Foundation is a new DJ/artist management agency coming from the same stable as 3am Recordings and Midnight Social Recordings. They've got a DJ competition going on and have asked if I'd tell you about it… so I am.

Here's what they have to say:

How would you like your mix to be featured on the Northern Foundation Agency radio show, exclusively on September the 6th? Not only would the mix be broadcast via Tunnel FM, a leading web radio station for dance music but it’ll also feature on the Northern Foundation Home page, Mixcloud, Soundcloud and Facebook page giving you wide exposure to the listening world. Just in case that’s not enough the winner will also receive £50 credit to spend on Beatport!

Simply send an email to mix@northernfoundation.com  and you’ll receive details for the competition along with the download link for the 10 free tracks. If you want to spice your mixes up with any Acapellas, Loops or other stuff, feel free to add what you like - just remember to use at least 5 of the free tracks, the rest is up to you!

Northern Foundation is a Leeds, UK based agency focusing on quality house music, which represents some of the most respected labels & DJs in the scene including Rob Small (TUG), Al Bradley (3am) Carlo Gambino (Midnight Social), Adam Collins (Euphoria) and RJ Fletcher (Tact) to name a few. The winning mix will also be sent to our database of over 2000 people, giving you huge exposure amongst house music fans, labels, DJs & promoters alike.

Good luck if you decide to give it a whirl!

Monday, 30 July 2012

So many tunes, so little time 24

Time once again for our weekly round-up of the best of the rest of last week's releases…

In alphabetical order, then, Adrian Izquierdo & Tato Ruiz serve up Oxygen, typicically chuggy tech-house fare on Southpark Records coming complete with a deeper, spaced-out remix from Thomas T… Deep Character & Mad Boss give us the Various Concepts EP on Nite Grooves, a seven-tracker covering various shades of deepness with Open Your Eyes my pick of the four cuts promo'd…  the latest from Form-and Function is the From The South EP, featuring four tracks of deep/tech goodness in the east London style from Deepmilo… New York's Dance Through Life give us George Absent & Valano's I Don't Need You EP, home to four very playable deep house cutz… French label Deep Movements is behind Le Prestige from Lyons-based J Dovy, one for the lovers of Afro-tinged house grooves… moving into techno pastures, Maximus Bellini's Arena comes on Greek label Sabotage Records and has pleasing house-y/disco-y overtones… Slim by Necaa is a very solid tech-house offering from Germany's Agora Audio in three mixes, with label boss Erich Bogatzky's standing out for me… new from the ever-checkable Snatch! Records comes Technique by Prince Club & Poupon, a decent enough slab of contemporary-sounding deep/tech house but one that to these ears is bettered by its own B-side, The Block being an upbeat, organ-fuelled houser making great use of a very familiar soul vocal… Raoul French's Bad Girl EP on MUM features two tracks of Afro/tribal-tinged tech house… Collector, an EP from Ukrainian producer Schelmanoff , features seven varied tracks ranging from minimal to prog to ambient but is certainly worth exploring, and comes on THT Music… a true rave classic, Living In Darkness by Top Buzz, gets a 2012 makeover courtesy of Sam Dungate on Influential House, though surprisingly he's concentrated on the trumpet fanfare and ditched that bassline… Tuccillo's House 19 EP is only the second release on the fledgling Holic Trax imprint, featuring four experimental-sounding tech-house cuts, among which Eyes Sky stands out… and then finally we come to a couple of V/A eps, with the Rusted Box Remixes EP from Israel's Rusted Records home to some fine bouncy tech-house grooves from Christian Cambas, Roy RosenfelD and others while Tactics Volume 1 comes from another newbie label (this is their fourth release), Tact Recordings, and features three experimental/leftfield-leaning tech-house cuts from Isherwood, Luke Black and Per Bojsen-Moller.

With THANKS ALSO to: Bunni Splanchnik, Dandi & Ugo, Fabio Tosti, Glitter, Mafu Nakyfu, Riera & Limebomb, Simon Bryant, Stephan J Kroos, Thomas Durrani, Tomcraft and Visitor Seven.

Pete Dafeet - Freeze

Pete Dafeet Freeze Lost My Dog Gonna do last week's 'best of the rest' round-up later on but it takes a while, so first let's have a listen to this latest from Lost My Dog main man Pete Dafeet…

There are three mixes of Freeze, plus bonus cuts Grit Your Teeth and Mistakes. In its original form, Freeze is a big, dancefloor-oriented house cut packed with old-skool bass and piano sounds. The Shades Of Gray remix is a little more electronic-sounding and adds hip house-style male vox, but it's the more stripped n' jacking Murat Kilic Remix that I'm feeling most, I think. As for the other two, Mistakes is another bouncy cut with spoken vocal snips and more nods to vintage Chi-town, while Grit Your Teeth continues in a similar vein.

Or, generally speaking, you could just say that… dis is summa dat gud tracky shiznit, yagetmi?


Out: This week

About: Find Lost My Dog at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud. Oh yeah, and in fairness to Ian and Naj I should point out that Pete is only ONE of the LMD main men!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Kyka – Worry EP

Kyka Worry EP Channelled Recordings
Last one now before TIWWD heads off to Camp Bestival for the weekend…

Kyka is Estonian producer Jurgen Parnsalu, and here he serves up three tracks for Channelled Recordings. My Bad starts out deep, then turns acidic, then goes a bit proggy in the middle, so should appeal to a wide variety of house lovers! Two Worlds is more yer straight-up late night deep affair, with snippets of garage-y fem vox, and then finally there's Worry itself, a truly soul-infused deep houser reminiscent of the classic west coast sound.

A very classy release indeed from this up-and-coming, Manchester-based label.

Out: This week

About: Find out more at the Channelled Recordings Soundcloud and Facebook pages.

Fideles feat Bradsucks – Get Your Fable

Fideles feat Bradsucks Get Your Fable Zouch Records
The first release here from a brand new label, Zouch Records. Run by Chris Ward, also of K9 Records, the label's purpose in life is "to cater for house music of the deeper and nu-disco variety", in Chris's own words.

In its original form, Get Your Fable is a mid-paced house/nu-disco groove with a throbbing bass riff as the key musical element, and an indie-ish male vocal from Bradsucks that couldn't sound much more Underworld if it tried! If you hear it – and I've got a feeling you might be hearing this quite a bit – it's the one that goes "you make me sick".

The Della Zouch remix is slightly more spaced-out and twisted, but only slightly… if you really want to head off into that spangled 5am afterhours zone then the Heston Dawg Remix with its pitched-down vocal is the place to head.

A dub might not've gone amiss but this is a strong first release for the label all the same. And apparently it's getting played by DJs as diverse as M.A.N.D.Y, Laura Jones, Horse Meat Disco and Slab already…

Out: This week

About: You can find Zouch on Facebook and Soundcloud. And look out for the label's second single, which is coming very soon from Heston.

FREE EP Toob – Chop House Vol 2

Here's another one I was meant to tell you about last week but didn't manage to get around to. But better late than never, eh? What we have here, then, are four tracks of forward-thinking house/techno for your free downloading pleasure courtesy of Jakeone and Rich Thair, AKA Toob.

As the player's right there I won't bother describing them in detail, so instead here's Toob have to say about themselves:

Jakeone and Rich Thair have been making music together as Toob since the murky mid-2000s, clocking up two albums (on Lo Recordings and Process Recordings), three EPs, seven 12″s, one 7″ and a handful of remixes. All this has led to gigs across the UK, Europe and Russia, and a fan base reaching even further.

As well as Toob they keep themselves consistently busy with alternative ventures – other bands, soundtracks for American cop shows, helping run East London recording studios and realising sound art projects, to name a few. Now Toob are putting this passion into the launch of their own blog and a series of free digital EPs, collectively titled ‘Chop House’.

And now we've got that sorted… here's the EP!

More info: www.toob.org.uk

Martin Brodin – Humming Bird

Martin Brodin Humming Bird MB Disco
Time for some nu-disco action now, courtesy of Martin Brodin and his MB Disco label.

There are three mixes of Humming Bird. The original builds slowly with an Italo-style bassline and "ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah" female vox, the Kasper Bjorje Remix is slightly more shiny and contemporary-sounding while the Discolog Remix adds some tinkling piano.

Whichever mix you go for – and to be honest they don't vary hugely – this is a very solid bet for your disco floor.

Out: This week

About: Martin Brodin, you may recall, used to run Swedish deep house label Deeplay, but these days he's all about the disco vibes. You'll find MB Disco on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

John Diloo & Dimi Wilson – 3 Dots EP

John Diloo & Dimi Wilson 3 Dots EP Savoir Faire Musique
I was gonna stop at the Nick Harris review tonight, but then this came on next and it really is very good indeed…

As you'll know I'm a bit of a fan of Savoir Faire and their take on deep house music. It's classically-informed without descending into mere pastiche, and now-sounding without feeling the need to slavishly follow the whims of musical fashion. And, well, yeah, so it is here, basically. Two mixes of 3 Dots itself (original plus a Dual T Remix), one of Stolen Chief, and all three are as fine examples of straight-up deep house 2012-stylee as I've heard all week.

All I've got to say, really.

Out: This week

About: Savoir Faire Musique can be found on Soundcloud or at label boss Scott Harrington's Facebook page.

Nick Harris – Redux EP

Nick Harris Redux EP Stoned Immaculate
In which the Bristol native and NRK main man shows the young 'uns a thing or two about how it's done!

This is the third release on Nick's new label Stoned Immaculate. So it's quite fitting that the A-side, a pulsing, throbbing and very 'now' tech-house cut called Stoned Immaculate Theme, uses the well-known Jim Morrison sample. With something of that lavish Garnier feel to the production, this would work well on house and techno floors alike.

However it's actually B-side Situation that I'm feeling the most, wherein Nick makes great use of a vocal I personally know from Joey Negro's Got To Make The Best Of A Love Situation from back in ’93 (though it may well have come from somewhere else originally, for all I know). Musically, the track's just as current sounding as Theme but a little more overtly house-fied as well, with a neat chiming keyboard line and a pleasingly understated but full-phat b-line. There's a Dub as well, which is more or less just an instrumental, but for me hearing that vocal again is the whole point!

Still, a fine package all round, basically. Nice one Nick.

Out: This week

About: Although Stoned Immaculate is Nick's personal project, the best place to find 'em is still via the NRK Music website, it says here. They're on Soundcloud as well though. Oh and look, they're on Facebook as well. They're all over the ruddy place!

Artist unknown - Sshh Edits 002

Sshh Edits 002
Plenty of activity in the Sleazy Deep/F*** House Music camp of late… for a start Sleazy Deep has a rather fine compilation out at the minute called Future Sleaze, which I'd heartily recommend you check out even though I never actually got around to reviewing it when it came out a few weeks back. And secondly, there's this.

'This' being the second in a series of ultra-limited 10-inch releases pressed on clear vinyl. So yes, that beeping you can hear is indeed your 'cheeky bootleg' detector going off, with the A-side here a very now-sounding deep/tech take on Moloko's Forever More, while the B-side is a late-night version of… er, something I don't actually know, with one of those 80s/Euro/synthpop vocals I'm really not so keen on myself.

No matter though, you might like it – and this is worth picking up for the Moloko refix anyway.

Out: Last week, this is one of those 'catch-up' reviews I was telling you about!

About: You can find Sshh Edits (and HEAR THIS) on Soundcloud

Dale Howard – Some Other Guy EP

Dale Howard Some Other Guy EP OFF Recordings
And speaking of Dale Howard, here he comes again, this time with a four-track EP for Berlin's ever-excellent OFF Recordings.

The clue's in the title with the main track, as Mr Howard lifts a chunk of Heard It Through The Grapevine* and places it, heavily treated, atop a midtempo, bassy deep house groove. "Simple but devastatingly effective" would be the clich√© juste, methinks! Elsewhere on the EP, No Need is another simple, loping and bassy groover but with both male and female vocal snips this time, Trickster is a sumptuous, (UK) garage-y thang and the throbbing 4am dub-house-disco of District brings the EP to a close.

Deep house music that sounds contemporary yet at the same time pays homage to classic sounds… what's not to like?

Out: This week

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

*Possibly someone other than Marvin's version, I'm not 100 per cent sure

Jesus Pablo – Playing In The Sun

Jesus Pablo Playing In The Sun Headset
And speaking of very familiar names, here comes house music's busiest Liverpudlian once more.

Everyone seems to be doing the laidback, summer-y thing at the moment and Playing In The Sun, as the name suggests, operates pretty much in just that kinda territory. Dale Howard's remix beefs things up a notch but the standouts here are a brace of rubs from the mighty Jay Tripwire. His Deep Mix is, well, pretty gosh-darn deep – in a 'small hours in a dark club' kinda way as opposed to a 'getting mellow on the beach' way – and brings the meandering sax line to the fore, while his Warehouse Mix is darker, more twisted and, generally speaking, pretty spiffing all round.

Quality stuff as ever from Senor Pablo.

Out: This week

About: This comes on San Francisco's Headset Recordings… so here are the website Facebook and Soundcloud links you'll no doubt be expecting.

Rob Clarke & Al Bradley – Apache Communications EP

Al Bradley Rob Clarke Apache Communications 3am
A split release here from two names that will be very familiar to regular TIWWD readers, with one track apiece from 3am Recordings label boss Al Bradley and Beats Me Music main man Rob Clarke.

Apache on the A comes from Mr Clarke and is a comparatively uptempo slab of slammin' deep house with plenty of bounce in its veins (and its big-ass b-line), and a Zebedee-like bouncy springy noise thrown in to boot! Over on the B, Al's Skirmish is slightly more sedate, and features spoken male "you must be crazy… can you dig it?" vocal snips and mellow piano chords atop a tribally-inflected backing that sounds a bit like the music from Crash Bandicoot. Sounds weird, I know, but it works.

Very soon we're promised an Apache Communications Remixed EP, with Al reworking Rob's cut and vice versa. But these two originals will do nicely for now.

Out: This week

About: You can find 3am Recordings on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Mikel Curcio – Don't Stop

Mikel Curcio Don't Stop Mile EndFour quite different mixes grace this latest offering from Canada's Mile End Records.

In its Original form, Don't Stop is a hi-octane, hi-impact tech-houser, with techno-style, busy busy busy percussion, snatches of spoken female vocal and a big 90s-ish synth/bass riff, while the Dub Mix drops the vocal and lets that riff shine through. The Ezlv Remix drops the constantly-rattling cymbals and takes us into dreamy, proggy territory, and then finally the NOTV Remix is a dark and ominous deep house groove in the contemporary style, with – dare I suggest? – echoes of classic jungle in the bass sounds.

A strong package all round, but NOTV's rub takes the gold for me.

Out: This week

About: You can find Mile End Records at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Pawas – Borin' Dreams EP

Pawas Borin' Dreams Undulate
And from Pablo to Paco to Pawas… what with Platform Vol 7 as well, we're all about the Ps tonight!

Alliteration aside there are some fine underground house vibes here, deep and chunky and just a little bit leftfield around the edges. Oddly (given the EP title), Borin' Dreams itself – a tribal chant-enhanceed drum workout with a rather large evolving bass/synth riff that'll get 'em moving for sure – comes in just the one mix, but you get three of Flying Drum: a drifty, floaty original, a more darkly rumbling LoSoul Remix and, the pick for me, a deep dancefloor workout from Deepspell.

The latter, incidentally, is New Yorker and label boss Al Alvarez, and not to be confused with Canada's Deep Spelle. Just in case you were. Anyway yeah, this is good stuff.

Out: This week

About: This comes to you courtesy of NYC-based Undulate Recordings, which Al co-owns/co-runs with Billy Disciple. Find 'em on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their website.

Paco Ymar – I Know EP

Paco Ymar I Know Diva Records
From Pablo to Paco, with this two-tracker from Italy's Diva Records.

The label's known for techier styles but I Know is pretty much a straight-up house/deep house affair, with an endlessly throbbing b-line sitting beneath big drums and disembodied female vocal wails… the effect is pure mid-90s NYC, and that's never a bad thing now is it?

Vladimir Acic's remix then, more predictably, takes us down a more frantic, percussive and technoid route altogether. Which is good for those that like that kind of thing, I'm sure, but it's the A-side all the way for me here.

Out: This week

About: You can find Diva Records at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud.

Prosis feat Pablo Fierro – Better Days

Prosis feat Pablo Fierro Better Days Deepwit
Here's one of those from last week that I didn't manage to get round to… with my boy Edmund on the remix, though, and coming on the ever-excellent Deepwit, it couldn't just get ignored. Two tracks, four mixes in total, with Pablo Fierro's soulful male vox applied pleasingly sparingly (remember kids, less is more!) on both.

Better Days is a slow-building and very chilled deep houser with a dreamy feel overall and some quietly meandering jazz sax, while the Silt remix strips things down somewhat and takes us into afterhours territory. As for How To Move, think laidback, summery grooves and you're along the right lines with the Original. But for me it's the Edmund remix of this one that stands out, its funkier bassline and added vibes upping the dancefloor ante considerably in a vaguely west coast-ish fashion.

Cool summer vibes all round, then.

Out: Last week. My head is suitably hung in shame.

About: You can find Deepwit here (web), here (FB) and here (Soundcloud)

Various – Platform Vol 7

Platform Vol 7 1605 Music Therapy
The latest installment in 1605 Music Therapy's excellent Platform series here, with the emphasis as ever on showcasing quality tech-house and techno from up-and-coming producers.

From the complex, multi-layered tech-house grooves of Unique & Adoo's Duplex to the dark, groovy house of Oscar L & Joseph DL's Reverse Life to the sinuous, funk-fuelled techno of Hellomonkey's Sleeping, there's plenty here for DJs and floors of many persuasions to enjoy. So check it for yourself!

That is all.

Out: This week

About: Find Umek's 1605 Music Therapy on Facebook, on Soundcloud or at their own website.

Tim Andresen – DTRT/A Day At The Terrace

Tim Andresen DTRT What Happens
Some very solid summer house vibes here, coming from my man Tim Andresen on his own What Happens imprint.

A-side DTRT is a fairly epic slab of deep-ish house, bordering on prog you could say only without getting all pompous and over-blown… and certainly without any nasty trance synths! It's a lolloping, bass-and-drums workout that's sure to see plenty of terrace plays this summer.

And speaking of which, B-side A Day At The Terrace is another percussion-led jam, with barely-there snatches of vocal buried deep in the mix and augmented with crowd noise, whistles and a touch of what sound suspiciously like pan pipes… again, it's tailor-made for dancing in the Ibiza sunshine, with a more musical and house-ified Dave Nash Remix adding some cool old school piano/organ sounds and an "Oh Lord yeah" female vocal sample.

Good stuff as ever from What Happens.

Out: This week

About: Find What Happens at their website or on Facebook. Should I also mention that they're from Copenhagen? Nah, you probably know that already.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Acasual – Blue EP

Acasual Blue Deep Edition
Was the Anturage & Silvertone a bit too proggy for you? In that case, let's take a trip into properly deep pastures with this latest from the ever-reliable Deep Edition.

There are two tracks, in a total of four mixes. Blue itself is lazy, laidback and soul-infused, with snippets of (presumably sampled) jazz/blues-style vocal… it's summery but in a thoughtful, melancholic kinda way, while the remix from Matches ups the dancefloor ante somewhat with a throbbing, Chicago-y b-line. Still Got It, meanwhile, is textbook dreamy, late-night deep house in its original form, again coming with the sampled and heavily treated vox; label boss Martijn does the remix honours on this one but to be honest the two rubs are very similar, except that Martijn uses a little less of the vocal.

Still, if it's very deep and melodic vibes you're after, you won't go wrong here.

Out: This week on vinyl, digitally at the end of August.

About: Acasual hails from Luxembourg but is now based in Germany, while Deep Edition Recordings, as you no doubt know by now but I'll tell you anyway, are based in the northeast of England and can be found at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud.

Anturage & Sergey Silvertone – Broken Bridges/Rainbow

Anturage & Sergey Silvertone Broken Bridges Incepto Deep
Incepto may be best known for shiny, immediate progressive house vibes, but lately they've been branching out, and this latest from the Incepto Deep offshoot sees the label in operating in straight-up deep house territory.

That said, while the funk-fuelled bassline and crisp hi-hats of Broken Bridges make it a very solid bet for the deep house floors, there's just enough of a dreamy, proggy sheen to give it the potential to reach out beyond the free party/basement/dodgy back-room of a pub ghetto too!

On the B, meanwhile, Rainbow sits more clearly and unashamedly on the deep/prog border – making this an EP that could find favour with DJs of both persuasions.

Out: This week

About: You can find Incepto Deep here, here and here (web, Facebook, Soundcloud)

Yakka – You Turn Me On

Yakka You Turn Me On Street King
Upping the tempo a little now with this two-track offering from Yakka on Street King.

You Turn Me On does something I'd usually advise against, taking a significant chunk from Diana's classic Upside Down. I say I'd advise against because biting such a well-loved classic can so often go so horribly wrong, but here it doesn't, making this bouncy, disco-fuelled houser something of a sure-fire party-starter, at least on those floors where they're not so far up their own backsides they can see their own teeth.

Gary Caos's remix on the B is a little bit too electrofied, brash and teenage for me personally but hey, I'm old, what do I know? It doesn't matter anyway, the A's enough.

Out: This week

About: Street King is of course part of the mighty King Street empire.

Smok – Sure Thing

Smok Sure Thing Artizan Music
Seems like a bit since we had anything from Jafar & Poussez's Artizan Music on here… but now here they come again with a rather splendid three-tracker from Finland's Smok.

"Deep house in the classic Chicago style but with contemporary production values" is pretty much the order of the day, generally speaking. For me, the bouncy Back To Basics and more dreamy, driftaway Sure Thing battle it out for top honours but Light Of Day is cool too, making this a very solid bet for those in search of classic-style house vibes rendered in 100% fromage-free fashion.

Out: Thursday (July 26)

About: Find Artizan Music at their website or on Facebook

Tough Love – Taking Over

Tough Love Taking Over Discotech
Another nice simple two-tracker here, courtesy of northwest UK-based Discotech.

In its Original form, Taking Over is a mid-paced, acid-squelching romp through retro, Chi-town pastures… which is never a bad thing in TIWWD's book. It even comes complete with the kind of heavily treated vocal so beloved of the likes of Armando and Adonis. Over on the B, meanwhile, Jini Cowan's remix is more upbeat and more contemporary-sounding, somewhat more funkified but with a hint of that electro/indie-dance/nu-disco sound as well.

It's the original for me, though: like the Reynolds Girls, I'd rather jack…

Out: This week

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

D.Ramirez – Fragile Tension EP

D Ramirez Fragile Tension EP Great Stuff
You can always rely on Great Stuff for some solid tech-house vibes and this offering from Dean Marriott, AKA D.Ramirez, doesn't disappoint.

There's two tracks to choose from. Fragile Tension itself is mid-paced and bouncy with a touch of disco and some distinctly head-fried synth wibbles, but it's Like It Like That that wins out for me… suffice to say, Jack is truly back on this one, and he's getting his Afro groove on too.

Quality stuff from a very reliable label and a very dependable producer… keep on jumpin'! Tee hee.

Out: This week

About: Here's where Great Stuff live online.

Da Funk – The Last Dance

Da Funk The Last Dance Acryl Music
As I said yesterday, there are still some bits from last week to catch up with but for now gonna crack on with this week's releases, otherwise we could be playing catch-up forever…

First up today then is this latest from Switzerland's Acryl Music, which sees label boss Da Funk serving up two slices of laidback, summery, feel-good house music. There's no great reinventing of the wheel going on, admittedly: it's pretty much typical summer fare but with the Ibiza/festival season upon us there's always a need for tracks like these. Not much else to say really!

Out: This week

About: You can find Acryl Music at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud… you can HEAR THIS at the latter

Monday, 23 July 2012

So many tunes, so little time 23

Still a bit behind with stuff unfortunately so before we crack on with this week's reviews, here's the 'best of the rest' round-up from last week that you should have had yesterday!

First up, Andrew Grant & Lomez give us Has To Be Love EP on Teej & Co's My Favorite Robot, a four-tracker mixing up contemporary deep house and nu-disco flavas. The title track's spoilt for me by the 80s synth-pop vocals (as recently discussed) but you might not mind, and it's worth checking anyway for (the largely instrumental) Be Free and Distant Thunder… the Bora Bora EP on Pornographic Records features three very solid tech-house cuts from Cristian Varela, DJ Jock and Jose Anvelo… Federico's Two Days EP is home to two very fine deep house tracks that TBH really deserved a bigger review than this, and comes on Unrivaled Music… on a progressive house tip, Stereo FX give us Open Your Mind, a three-track EP from Frangellico with Case 39 particularly worthy of your attention… the 'oddest name of the week' award goes to Furrr & Hazendonk, who bring us some straight-up house goodness in the form of Barend Botje, which comes on Manual offshoot Melomane… Blacksican from Konstress is more very checkable deep/tech house bizniss and comes on the ALWAYS checkable Four Fingers Hand…  Mehmet Akar's The Light Goes On, brought to you by Stripped Digital, comes in seven mixes ranging from downtempo to progressive and tech-house, with the dark n' moody Kastis Torrau & Arnas D Remix doing it best for me… Slow Burn from Rob Hes could sit well in both techno and progressive house sets, and comes on Sounds Of Earth… if that's too hard/dark for you then perhaps Sunshine Jones's soul-infused house grooves will suit you better? If so, such can be found this week on the Dubtribe man's Dirty Love EP for Nite Grooves, coming in four mixes ranging from Latin-tinged to disco-y to surprisingly techy… alternatively if it IS pumping and technoid you're after then the V/A Format Vol 1 EP on Binary 404 should suit you down to the ground… Yohan Esprada & Lorena Rich take us back into deep house territory with the rather excellent Phoenix Of Love on UM Records, another one that definitely deserved a much bigger review had I not run out of time! And then finally for tonight's purposes, Italy's Deeperfect have managed to sign up the legendary Zoo Brazil, who gives us the bouncy tech-houser Founder, which comes accompanied by a techier rub from label boss Stefano Noferini.

I'd say "that's your lot" but it isn't… there's a couple more gems from last week that definitely need a full review, but those will have to wait till tomorrow now.

In the meantime, THANKS ALSO to: A. Rodriguez, Alexis Raphael, Caio Jardini, Cori Josias, Danny Siberia, Dennis Yashin, DJ Fronter, Lucent, Mr Bizz, Rodion & Mammarella, Squicciariaini, Nick Vono & Alexbi, Steeve Mask [sic] and Supernova, all of whom have singles out this week… as ever there's some good stuff in there for sure so do have a peep if you can!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Ceri – Would You…

Ceri Would You 3am
A very now-sounding release from 3am, this one, sitting right on the point where deep, tech and progressive house all join hands and, as such, likely to find a place in many a DJ's set.

The Original of Would You… works echo-y, tribal vocals and wails over a relentless throbbing bassline, an ominous, chiming synth riff and crisp, straight-down-the-line percussion. The Matt Akita Remix goes to town with added percussive elements, turning the track into a summer terrace kind of affair, while the Rhythm Rebounds Remix from Matteo Floris, in contrast, takes us in a more techno-oriented direction with a different b-line and sparser, reverb-drenched production.

Yesterday's one review was of a tune for those moments where you want to turn the dark up. Continuing in a similar vein, this'd be where you start edging back towards the light.

Out: This week

About: You can find 3am Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

MJC - Maniak

Due to family commitments TIWWD is pretty much out of action this weekend… normal service will be restored tomorrow night so check back then. In the meantime, as that will no doubt leave you feeling inconsolably forlorn, like there's a gaping hole in your life*, it seems fitting to take a little trip to the darkside with this slab of ominous, menacing techno.

Two cuts on offer, Maniak and the equally upliftingly-titled Neck Pain. Both sound like they might have been recorded on the set of a Saw movie (think cavernous disused warehouses) and neither are gonna go down too well at your Auntie Mavis's birthday party. But, crucially, neither are they stupidly in-your-face and gnarly.

Both cuts keep the BPM at a sensible level and are more psychological horror than splatter flick, making them eminently suitable for those exploring the more druggy, twisted depths of tech-house or dubstep who want to turn the dark up a little.

Right, I'm actually off to my niece's birthday party now. In the wilds of Essex. Wish me luck and I'll see ya tomorrow.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Italian techno label N.O.I.A Records

*All right probably not

Thursday, 19 July 2012

YSE feat Frank H Carter III – Foundations EP

Yse Frank H Carter Foundations EP Lost My Dog
Finally for tonight, something of a treat for the older heads among us…

This latest from Lost My Dog sees Yse teaming up once more with NYC vocalist Frank H Carter III, following on from their 2011 collab Guessing Games. Opener I Don't Want Love marries contemporary, chuggy deep/tech beats with Carter's Colonal Abrams-esque tonsils, while Magic In Your Eyes is a full-on soul number, a new departure for Yse.

But the real gems here are Play On and the Giom Remix of Magic In Your Eyes, both of which can safely be filed under 'proper garage, the way we used to'. The latter in particular, with its classic NJ organs and, in the mid-section, MK/Todd Edwards-ish chopping and stuttering of the vocal, is sure to bring a nostalgic smile to many an old raver's face – but don't sleep on Play On either, which harks back all the way to the Easy Street days. Take a glass… put some class in it. What have you got?

Or perhaps I shoudld say, wot do u call it? Tee hee.

Out: This week

About: You can find Lost My Dog at their website, on Facebook, on Soundcloud and pretty much everywhere else, actually…

Sergio Fernandez – Modern Rock EP

Sergio Fernandez Modern Rock Cray1 Labworks
We move now more into deep/tech (as opposed to straight-up deep house) territory, with the latest from Spain's ever-checkable Cray1 Labworks.

Modern Rock itself is tuff and techy, a percussion-driven affair just made for Balearic terraces. It's fit for purpose without a doubt, but to these ears the remix by Hector Couto and label owners Soulrack and Mikel_E does it better: it's deeper, warmer and more musical, foregrounding various snippets of (M/F) spoken vocal and the bassline rather than the drums. There's some flute in there, too. And then finally there's bonus cut Dokser, which fuses the warmer sounds of deep house with the kind of tuff drums we used to always associate Spanish house with, back when Chus, Ceballos and the Stereo crew were about the only players in the game!

A solid offering that'll keep the underground floors moving for sure.

Out: This week

About: Cray1 Labworks' website seems to have been 'under construction' since the days of General Franco, but you can at least find all their contact details there… for any other information, Facebook or MySpace are your best bet.

Oh, and you can HEAR the Couto/Soulrack/Mikel_E remix on Soulrack's own Soundcloud as well

Tomson & Benedict – We_Ctrl 001 EP

Tomson & Benedict Time For Change We_Ctrl
The first release here from We_Ctrl, a brand-new label based in the UK. Responsible for this new arrival are the Manchester-based duo of Tomson & Benedict, who here – collectively and individually – serve up some very fine deep house in various subtly different flavas.

A-side Switch, a joint Tomson & Benedict effort, is an atmospheric, slow-burning and quite techy affair, with tinges of prog around the edges but with some very cool (and decidedly non-proggy) organ sounds as well. On the B, Time For Change from Tomson is a more straight-up deep houser with sampled spoken vocals ("We're looking at a time of change, a time of revolution," etc) over intricate, toppy rhythms and pads/atmos galore, while finally the standout for me is Benedict's Automatism, a mellow and dubby late-night ride with more of those gorgeous organ sounds.

A very fine start indeed – more soon, please.

Out: This week

About: As I said, We_Ctrl is Tomson & Benedict's own label. Despite being brand new, you can already find them on Facebook, Soundcloud and at their own website. Mind you we shouldn't be surprised: with five years of releases on respected labels like Hudd Traxx, Freerange and Urban Torque under their belt, T&B are hardly newcomers to the game…

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Kinky Movement – Nervous EP

Kinky Movement Nervous EP Dizzy Funk Music
You know what one of the worst things about doing a blog like this is? It's not all the hours it takes up, or the fact you don't get paid for it… it's that you feel obliged to affect some kind of cool, objective detachment, when sometimes you just want to shout "This is brilliant, listen to this!" like an over-excited 16-year-old.

Like now.

Kinky Movement have been stalwarts of the UK's deep house/free party scene for years, and it shows. Nervous is a classy soul-tinged houser with plenty of that trademark East Midlands bump, while Rare Function leans a little further towards disco/funk territories. Both are plenty dippable, but the real gem here is Can't Hold Me Down.

Deep and funky with that little added garage groove in the finest DiY/Drop Music tradition, the lyric I guess is meant to be about positivity and such… but it could equally refer to the fact that I can't really see any true househead sitting quietly while this was playing. I certainly couldn't today at the day job, when I had it in my headphones – I was bouncing around in my seat like a loon. It's the kind of record, in fact – whether in Original or slightly beefier Sean Dizzyfunk Remix form – that makes me just want to shout "This is brilliant, listen to this!" like an over-excited 16-year-old.

You know what the best thing about doing a blog like this is? You get sent records like this one. Absolutely crucial.

Out: This week

About: This comes Sean's own Dizzy Funk Music – it is, in fact, only their second release. You can find them on Soundcloud and Facebook, naturally.

J Kar – Romance Symphony

J Kar Romance Symphony Nightbird Music
Quality bizniss as ever from Sebastian Davidson's Nightbird stable here, coming in four mixes.

In its Original form, Romance Symphony – with its soaring synth-strings, "for you" female vocal wails and fat, chunky b-line – sits right on the deep/prog border. Nick Hogendoorn's remix takes us more unequivocally into proggy territory, and will no doubt suit the relevant jocks down to the ground, but it's the Nick Devon and Seva K rubs, which go the other way and head off down the path marked 'just plain deep', that are – unsurprisingly – doing it best for me.

Nick's mix is a sparse, stripped-back affair with some cool jazz piano added, while the Seva K Dub is, er, even more sparse and stripped-back, and a bit warmer and dubber. And to be honest it's very hard to choose between 'em… I guess Nick's is a bit more club-friendly whereas Seva K's is more your post-club, zoning out on the sofa kinda thang, but I'm digging the two pretty much equally.

Making this something of a must-have.

Out: This week

About: Here's where to find Nightbird Music on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

GVK – C Love

GVK C-Love Trendy Mullet
A great man once asked – or it might just have been the bloke out of Sha Na Na in Grease – "how low can you go?" But that's not the question tonight. The question tonight is "how deep can you go?" And if GVK and assorted remixing chums were asked that questions, the answer would have to be, "Pretty fucking deep, actually".

C Love would come under the 'deep house' heading to start with anyway (just about): it's a midtempo groover with chopped-up female vocal snips and one of those squelchy, filtered synth stabs that always remind me of Akabu's Ride The Storm. But the remixes take us deeper still. First there's the Leif Remix, which mutes the synths somewhat and lets the warm bassline shine through, replaces the vocal with some mournful male wahs and woohs, and has a somewhat more laidback, horizontal vibe generally.

Even that's as nothing, however, compared to the DJ Da Remix… with production that truly warrants the term 'cavernous', this is as sparse and echo-y as the most demanding of deeper heads could possibly ask for. It's probably best suited to listening purposes, but there is a surprisingly insistent 4/4 which means, on the right floors – and you'd have to pick them carefully – this would absolutely slay 'em.

So while all the mixes are certainly playable, it's DJ Da's rub all the way for me: it's as beautiful and involving a piece of sonic meandering as you'll hear all week.

Out: This week

About: This comes on the always-checkable Trendy Mullet… that's about as much as I can tell you. I don't know who GVK is/are, cos no-one's told me… and I'm not sure what the Courtney Love connection is either, though I'm sure it all makes sense to someone. But anyway, you can find out more about Trendy Mullet (and maybe ask them yourself!) by hitting up their website, Facebook or Soundcloud pages.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Danny Quattro – Contact

Danny Quattro Contact Savoir Faire Musique
Our second Danny of the day is Danny Quattro, coming to you today via Savoir Faire Musique.

Presented in three mixes, Contact is based around a hefty sample from Human Traffic… I might grumble about it not being the most inventive of sample sources, except that it works so damn well! The Original Club Mix is a no-nonsense dancefloor throbber with John Simms joined by "come on!" vocal inserts, both vocals sitting a top a relentlessly pulsing rhythm driven more by the hi-hats than the subdued kicks. Lee Pennington's Main Room Remix is fairly similar but bigger and spacier, while the Patrick Podage & Nikola Kotevski Remix is slower, druggier and more twisted, and does strange things to the vocal, timestretching it beyond recognition.

Very, very solid fare for your deep house dancefloor, nuff said.

Out: Today

About: You can find Savoir Faire Musique at their blog, on Facebook and on Soundcloud

Danny O – Bossa EP

Danny O Bossa EP Hype Muzik
It's a tale of two Dannies on TIWWD tonight… first up is Danny O, who serves up an EP of very contemporary-sounding deep/tech house on Essex label Hype Muzik.

Bossa itself, or rather Bossa Nights, works what I THINK is a tiny bite from that classic, "It's just like when you get a cup of coffee that's too black, which means it's too strong" sample, pairing it with a simple two-note bass/synth parp and beats that are so stripped back, toppy and minimal that, while all very 'now' and that, they also remind me of Azuli Black's excursions into the more far-out regions of two-step back circa 2000… only in 4/4 rather than two-step time.

It's accompanied by Bossa Beats, which ISN'T the even-more-stripped pass you might be expecting, but an altogether funkier deep house groove reminiscent of classic west coast bizniss. Elsewhere on the EP, Comfort Zone is more now-sounding deep/tech goodness, while Don't Be Alarmed is a more glitchy, minimal-leaning cut.

With a range of styles on offer, this is Hype's best in while for my money.

Out: Tomorrow

About: Hype Muzik is part of the Stripped Muzik family… as I'm sure you know by now.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

So many tunes, so little time 22

Like the stoned cowboy said… "Blimey, is it time for another round-up already?" Well, yes, it is. So here are some other releases this week that are worthy of your attention…

Cactus Twisters give us Gate 7, a floor-oriented deep techno cut on Daniel Mehes' Dubmetrical imprint, with more full-on remixes from Sonate and Andy Notalez…the I'm Gone EP from DOOD on Fiveleg Music is another clubby techno offering, three tracks in six mixes with the deep acid sleaze of Backbay Dub the standout for me… Alex Arnout's Dogmatik serve up some very solid deep/tech house in the form of the Flo Jam EP from Dusky, a four-tracker with the deep garage-tinged Mystics my personal pick of the crop… Electricano releases a second single from his Insane Dimension album, Other Colour – pick from glitchy (original), proggy (Satoshi Fumi) or deep (Antifish) house, oh and it comes on Spring TubeJaydee (yes, that Jaydee, of Plastic Dreams fame!) is all about big room house with tons of rave/nu-NRG, er, energy these days, judging by Nonstop on Ink Records – it's like 1994 all over again… Bid Muzik stick to their commercial disco-house/nu-boogie guns with Kid Vibes' Disco DecisionsCoffee from Koffee, coming on new label Basemental Records, does that New York "deep/soulful house with poetic vocals" thing (only we're talking more Millie Jackson that Maya Angelou here) with mixes by no lesser a personage than disco legend John Morales… and finally for today, those Russian masters of all things mellow Incepto Smooth give us the Tribute EP from Omahua, a five-track EP of chilled breaks and cinematic, ambient soundscapes. But in a good way.

With THANKS ALSO this week to: A Rodriguez, Carlo Galliani, Daladie, Davy Dee, DJ Spookz, Emeskay, Enrico Saba AKA C_Sky, Filthy Rich, Fresh Produce, Haldo feat Georgia Cee, Humanate, Kiko, Luthier, Nebster, New Neon, On + Off, SanFranDisco and Sergio Trillini… as ever there's bound to be some gems in there that I've managed to overlook but there's only so many hours in the day

O.O.R.S - Callabonna Grove

O.O.R.S Callabonna Grove Sudup Recordings
Seems like ages since we heard anything from O.O.R.S, AKA Matt Evans… so this reappearance on Sudup Recordings is rather welcome.

Especially since you get four quite different mixes to choose from. The Original is a very deep, moody houser that alternates between passages of frenzied hand percussion and passages that are beat-free. The Dlay Remix adds BIG muted kicks for a proper 5am dark room groover, while Silver City man Julian Sanza injects a little rump-shakin' funk and some sparkly, head-gone-astray synths. And then finally, Moodymanc concentrates on the percussive elements to produce something that's altogether sunnier and outdoors-y.

Or to sum it all up: deep, bumpin' and uncompromisingly underground house music. Welcome back O.O.R.S

Out: This week

About: Sudup Recordings are a new label to me I must admit, but they seem to live mainly on MySpace.

Beaucrat – Loyalty

Beaucrat Loyalty Dance Through Life
Oh cruel fate… why do you mock me? No sooner do I have a pop at records with 80s synth-pop vocals than along comes one that blows me away.

That said, I was moaning about 80s synth-pop vocals… the vocal here's reminiscent not so much of pop as of coldwave and that weird hinterland where goth, industrial and synth-pop collided. In its original form, Loyalty is a low-slung, slow-grinding slab of, er… let's try "gothic industrial funk"… that reminds me of a lot of forgotten bands from the early-mid 80s – the kind that signed to Factory or Fon but didn't get very far. If the names Two Thieves & A Liar or Slab mean anything to you, you'll dig this for sure; other points of reference might be early Chameleons, The March Violets, Landscape or The Chameleons, though that's not to say this really sounds like any of them.

If that's a bit too full-on gothic/punk-funk for you though, there are plenty of remix options. Ivan Fernandez serves up a proggy dark-room throbber, Mike Terra's Warehouse In Brooklyn Remix is another doomy, dark but still floor-oriented pass while Jay Dynan goes "fuck it", chops up the vocal and throws in a mid-90s organ over Chicago warehouse beats. All those rubs make use of that distinctive vocal to a greater or lesser degreee; if you'd sooner avoid it altogether then tech-y/proggy rubs from Pao Calderon, Chester Hare and Cristain Benicasa will see you right, though I can't help feeling that'd be missing the point somewhat.

One of the most truly original records I've heard in a long time. As such it's something of a curveball for this blog, admittedly, but check it our for yourself all the same.

Out: This week

About: This comes on New York's Dance Through Life, who you can find here, here and here (web, Facebook, Soundcloud)

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Do It Proper – Proper Doing It EP

Do It Proper Proper Doing It EP Headtunes
And there's more quality deepness here with the latest from Headtunes Recordings, which comes courtesy of Chicago-based Brit Lee Jarvis, AKA Do It Proper.

You get two rubs apiece of Love Haight and Brooklyn Groove. The former in its original form is a midtempo deep chugger with a wonky, warped kinda feel, while Homero Espinosa's remix ups the tempo and adds a pulsating bass-synth/organ riff. Brooklyn Groove is a mellower, parping organ groove in its original form, with garage-y vocal snips and again with that filtered/warped sound that always sounds a little bit French to me*. And then finally the Nutritious & Bains BomBoogie Mix of the same ups the jazz ante considerably, with brushed snares a-gogo and some luvverly jazz-funk geetar licks, before throwing in Afro percussion, trumpet parps and vocal fragments to create something of a head-mangled gem for messy afterhours sessions.

Classy stuff as ever from this Boston-based label.

Out: This week

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

*But not in a cheesy 'French touch' way…specifically, it reminds me of the much-missed Qalamoto Records, a French label from 10 years back who never got the props they deserved if you ask me.

Various – The Leeds EP

Various The Leeds EP Midnight Social Recordings
Having grown up in the Leeds/Bradford area, it's pleasing to see how the Leeds house scene has grown so strong in recent years. This seven-artist, eight-track EP from Midnight Social Recordings serves as a reminder of just how strong it really is.

With tracks from Al '3am' Bradley, Thomas Malo, Joe Morris, Steve Jones, Soanso, TDRMC (whose Me And My 808 is presented in two different mixes) and of course label boss Carlo Gambino, there's plenty to please lovers of the deep here. Most tracks err towards the techy side of things, but Gambino's Work Dat adds a little west coast/east midlands-style bump n' funk while Morris's Sunburst takes us into dreamier, Mogadon-disco pastures.

Honourable mention must also be made of Steve Jones's Plasterman, which comes on like a ride on a tech-house ghost train. Well, it does to these ears, anyway…

Out: This week

About: You can find Midnight Social Recordings on Facebook. Oh yeah, and this one's a Beatport exclusive, I should probably mention…

Jesus Pablo – Simple Ideas Work Best

Jesus Pablo Simple Ideas Work Best Savoir Faire
Regular readers will be familiar by now with Liverpudlian producer Jesus Pablo, and with Something Different Records, the label he runs with Di Riviera. This one doesn't come on Something Different though, but rather Scott Harrington's Savoir Faire – another label who TIWWD readers will know by now can always be relied on for some quality deep house grooves.

Which doesn't leave me with huge amounts to explain, really! Except to say that Simple Ideas… lives up to its title, being an almost slo-mo affair based around some simple mournful plucked strings, minimal beats and sparingly-applied synths. Think of the sparse-yet-dense production values of the deepest dubstep √† la Youngsta or Distance, apply to deep house and you've got the idea.

Remixes come from Robot Needs Oil, who adds haunting M1 sounds and the merest of vocal fragments, joined later by gentle Balearic-style pianos, while Nick Devon – who so impressed with So Addicted on 3am as recently as last week – adds soulful vocals and a warm b-line.

Robot Needs Oil nudges it out of the remixes for me, but overall I think it's the original that wins out – it's a thing of delicate, fractured beauty.

Out: This week

About: Find Something Different, as ever, on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Leftwing & Kody – Bump & Flex EP

Leftwing & Kody Bump & Flex EP OFF Recordings
Another sterling offering here from Andre Crom's Berlin-based OFF Recordings, who've quietly become of my favourite labels of the moment.

OFF's normal speciality is contemporary-sounding, forward-leaning tracks that bridge the gap between techno and deep house. This, though, sees the label – or more specifically, London-based duo Leftwing & Kody – going down an uncharacteristically straight-up house route. I'm not sure if Bump & Flex is named in tribute to the UK garage veterans of the same name, but it's got that sexy garage swing about it for sure… not to mention a throbbing, pulsing, almost rave-y bassline and disembodied spoken female vox. Very, very cool indeed. Crom's remix toughens up the beats a notch – without ruining it, but it's still the original for me I think.

Elsewhere on the EP, You Don't Know with its R&B-ish vocal snips leans even further towards UKG, Feel Free works another rave-y b-line with "come on" and "yeah"-type vocals, while Going Down… er, well, that's in a similar vein basically only with added piano. But it's a very pleasing vein to be in, it has to be said.

Again, then: this is big room fare the way it should be done, but mostly isn't. Don't sleep.

Out: This week

About: Find OFF Recordings at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud. Don't miss their ever-excellent podcast series, either.

Slok – Feel Alive

Slok Feel Alive Circle Music
I'll be honest, I'm really not a fan of all those European, white-boy, synth pop-style vocals that are around at the moment… they remind me of the 80s, and I never liked them the first time around. Vocals like that have ruined many a perfectly good record for me in recent years.

Props must go to Italian techno producer and Electronic Petz label owner Slok then, cos this very now-sounding club throbber, which sits right on the house/techno cusp, sports just such a vocal, in this case supplied by My Favourite Robot. And I like it all the same. No mean feat!

I particularly like it when it comes in Subb-An Remix form, with plenty of added acid squelch… and I like it best of all on the digital-only Slok's Original Dub Mix, which drops the vocal almost entirely and allows the music to work its magic unhindered. Big, brooding and atmospheric but still with plenty of dancefloor oomph, this is big room house/techno 2012-style at its best. Drop the lights and turn it up.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Alex Flatner's Circle Music, who are based in Mannheim, Germany and who can be found here, here and here (website, Facebook, Soundcloud)

Russell & Woods – Brothers & Sisters

Russell & Woods Brothers & Sisters Black Vinyl
Now here's a turn-up for the books, as diehard soul boy and Black Vinyl boss Alan Russell teams up with former trance producer Torsten Stenzel (known for his work with Sakin, DJ Taucher and the like)… not a combination I'd have seen coming in a million years.

These days, though, Mr Stenzel is going under the name Jack Woods, and here, he and Alan have come up with a sheer gem of a house tune. The original mix is a funk-fuelled, bass-rumblin' deep house groover, with hand percussion to add energy and a sampled, spoken vocal (from Malcolm X, apparently). Oh, and some flutes too, but NOT, I should add, in an irritating, noodly way!

Sonically rich and with plenty of wiggle in its hips, this will get any house floor worthy of the name moving for sure. Over on the B, the Dub Mix strips things back to allow the bassline and percussion elements to shine through, resulting in a rub that's almost tribal, only without the boring/laddy connotations that word often implies.

Since their relaunch a year or two back, Black Vinyl have definitely been going down the 'quality not quantity' route, and this release is a prime example. Very classy stuff for discerning househeads.

Out: This week

About: The best place to find Black Vinyl these days is on Facebook.

Ilya Santana - Running To Your Love

Ilya Santana Running To Your Love Nang
Good old Nang and their dependable nu-disco grooves! It's not really essential, after all, for a label to reinvent themselves with every single release… sometimes it's better just to stick to what you're good at.  And nu-disco is something Nang are very good at indeed.

Not that they don't throw the occasional curveball to keep us on our toes, of course, but this is archetypal Nang fare: polished nu-disco from label fave Santana, with a wistful female vocal from Sylwia Van Der Wonderland. That said, with a total of eight mixes on offer from Robot Needs Oil, Brioski, Sportloto and Rayko, there's a decent amount of variation mix-wise, too: I'm not going into all eight individually, but the housier rubs from Robot Needs Oil and Brioski are the ones that are doing it best for me, particularly the latter's interesting fusion of deep house and Italo sounds, while Sportloto's laidback Omega Mix will serve you nicely for Sunday sessions and the like.

Overall, though: solid nu-disco fare from a label who are past masters of the art.

Out: This week

About: Here's where to find Nang online, or you can HEAR the Rayko mix here.