Friday, 31 August 2012

Submantra – I See You Dancing

Submantra I See You Dancing Savoir Faire Musique
Several of TIWWD's "regular" labels have new bits n' pieces out this week… here's the first, coming courtesy of Savoir Faire Musique.

There are three mixes of I See You Dancing on offer. The Original is a deep, bumpin' houser with organ sounds that are warmer and richer than a banker in a sauna, and one of those gems that will suit club or post-club play equally well. The Dual T Acid Remix is less 303-drenched than you might expect but will still serve you well for those twisted 4am sessions, while Deepwit boss Alvaro Hylander comes with a rub that's got slightly more frenetic percussion, yet a dubbier, more spaced-out feel than the original despite that.

I think it's the Original that does it best for me – y'know me and organs – but all three mixes are very playable so you can't go wrong really!

Out: This week

About: As ever, you can find Savoir Faire on Soundcloud or Facebook.

Raw & Darren Clarke – Jazz EP

Raw & Darren Clarke Jazz EP Them On The Hill
Now then, anyone fancy guessing what this one might sound like? Yeah, you got it… deep, sultry, jazzy house is the order of the day on this three-tracker from new-ish (this is number six from them) Sheffield label Them On The Hill.

Lead track Digital Jazz Fix, from Raw, comes in two mixes. The Original is pretty self-explanatory – think the housier end of the Compost catalogue or the jazz-dance sessions at Southport, if you need a signpost – while the NZ Dub from Kiwi collaborator Darren Clarke is, er, a drummier, dubbier take on the same, not much else I can say, with brushed snares a-gogo.

Rounding out the EP is Free Form from Clarke, a more straight-up deep house cut that to these ears suggests late 90s French deep house labels like Defender and Brique Rouge may feature prominently in Mr Clarke's collection, and that features some old jazz dude reminiscing as a vocal.

It's all very easy on the ears all round, really. But not, I hasten to add, in a lame-ass, coffee table kinda way! It's just… groovy, daddio.

Out: This week

About: Although Them On The Hill is a new label, the crew behind it are no newcomers to the game. They started out as a party collective in Sheffield in 1993 and Raw himself you might remember from his work as Digital Boogie (with Callum Wordsworth) on DiY Discs, or as Vibe, Inc (with Groove Assassin) on Black Vinyl, Transport, 4th Floor and Glasgow Underground.

Anyway, you can find Them On The Hill at their own website or on Soundcloud. Nice…

Mennie & Mario Piu – Affair

Mennie & Mario Piu Affair Fahrenheit Music
Mario Piu's transformation from trance and techno don to fully-fledged houser seems pretty much complete these days… this joint offering with fellow Italian Mennie is just the latest example. Because Affair is pretty much a reworking of the Nightcrawlers/MK classic Push The Feeling On in a 2012 tech-house stylee.

That's not to say it's not a very fine track in its own right, of course… and to be fair, there's a whole different vocal and everything. But it's that familiar (though replayed) nagging riff that'll drag 'em onto the floor. There are just the two mixes to choose from: the Original's more contemporary-sounding, the Getstrumental Mix is a little more classically 'house' and features a brief, cheeky snippet of the Nightcrawlers vocal to boot.

But either mix will do the necessary in the discos, without a doubt.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Mario's own Fahrenheit Music. Find 'em via Mario's Facebook page.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Charles Ramirez & Stan Garac – The Pianist/Summer Time

Charles Ramirez & Stan Garac Summer Time Pianist Hall of Fame HOF
Some nice smooth deep house vibes here from Spanish label Hall Of Fame.

Summer Time is the one for the real deep heads, a fem-vocalled, jazzy affair that's every bit as summery as its name suggests… and no, it's nothing to do with Porgy & Bess in case you were wondering. Over on the B, meanwhile, The Pianist rides a slightly tuffer, techier rhythm to start but then kind of builds downwards, if you see what I mean, as the black-key ivory licks emerge slowly from the heads-down shuffle.

Solid stuff all round.

Out: This week

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

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Roman Rai – If You Take Care

Roman Rai If You Take Care Tokyo Red Recordings
And finally, a nice easy one to end on cos there's just the one mix. But what a mix it is.

Clocking in at a whopping 11 minutes and 40 seconds, If You Take Care starts out with a deep disco loop, adds some percussion and then… er, well that's it in a nutshell! There are some barely-there vocals snips later on as well but essentially this is an epic affair for when your floor is well and truly in the zone and just wants to stay there, ta very much.

And coming on Tokyo Red, and from label stalwart Roman Rai, you know the quality bar's gonna be set high, so what are you waiting for?

Out: This week

About: Tokyo Red Recordings can be found at label boss DJ Sydney's Facebook page

Fadel – Braveheart

Fadel Braveheart Mile End Records
Another simple two-tracker with two quite distinct mixes of the same track here, this time from Canada's Mile End Records.

In its Original form, Braveheart sits somewhere between deep, tech- and soulful house, and will sound best when heard in a dark room circa 5am. On the flip, the Horatio Remix is a much drummier and more insistent affair, but also a much jazzier one thanks to its added parping sax and brushed snares.

Overall, then, what you have here are forward-thinking deep/tech-house vibes that will be best appreciated by educated and open-minded dancefloors.

Out: This week

About: You can find Mile End Records on Soundcloud and Facebook

Flex – Past Visions

Flex Past Visions Trendy Mullet
Some smooth yet still floor-friendly deep house vibes here from Italian producer Flex, coming on the ever-checkable Trendy Mullet.

There are just the two mixes of Past Visions to choose from, but to be fair they are quite different. The Original mix ain't nothin' but a deep, pulsating groove, topped off with a simple piano hook and synth-strings. Flip it over, and you'll find the Nick Turner Remix, which is what happens when late-night deepness and vintage Windy City house collide.

Quality stuff from a quality label, with the Turner mix just edging it for me.

Out: This week

About: You can find Trendy Mullet on Soundcloud and Facebook… like just about everyone else at the moment their actual website seems to have fallen over. 2012, what the f*** is going on?!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Attemporal – Att_3

Attemporal Att_3 ATT Series
And now let's lurch like a shockingly badly programmed DJ set from the uber-deepness of Artone & Anton Pau straight into the no-nonsense jackery of this.

Sitting right on that cusp where acid house meets techno, Att_3 is a throbbing, 303-tinged workout for turbo-charged bodies in darkened rooms, pure and simple. Over on the B, meanwhile, my old friend Rebekah turns in a refix that seriously ups the bottom-end grunt. This one's more for the out-and-out techno floors but in the right spot it'll do the damage without a doubt.

I really wouldn't try playing it straight after Need Deep, though.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Attemporal's own label, ATT Series. You can find 'em on Facebook, on Soundcloud or at their own website,  and you can also find out more about the Spanish duo at Resident Advisor. Oh yeah and you can find Rebekah on Facebook too… she's just moved to Berlin, dont'cha know?

Artone & Anton Pau – Need Deep EP

Artone & Anton Pau Need Deep EP Artefact
Okay, so that's Shambala out of the way and it's back to the daily grind… today it's been a birrova slog getting back into the groove TBH so it seems appropriate to kick off the week's reviews at a lower tempo, with this three-track slab of ultra-deep tech-house/minimal from Macedonia's Artefact label.

Need Deep itself comes from just Artone, and is in its Original form a stripped-down house groove in the Detroit (and yes, I mean Detroit as opposed to Chicago) stylee, all clipped beats and stabs, but slowly building with tinkling analogue synths. Anton Pau then supplies a Dubb Mix [sic] which takes us into even more minimal and sparse territory, while finally the pair, er, pair up for Soul Shakin', which is in a similar vein to the Original of Need Deep but just that little bit more overtly house-ified with its organ sounds and male vocal stabs.

Uncompromising deepness for the esoterically inclined.

Out: This week

About: You can find Artefact on Soundcloud or Facebook… their website proper is currently getting a re-re-re-remix.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

This Is Why We Dance is leaving you now…

Right, I'm off to Shambala now so won't be updating for a few days. But were I NOT in a field, prancing (in the immortal words of Jake The Poacher) like a tit, these are the records I'd have been telling you about…

Colin Sales & S.U.Z.Y – All About The Love (CSD Recordings)
Craig Stewart – Blue Straggle (DCS Trax)
Eric D – Overdrive (Manchester Underground Music)
Fabier – Gaurix (Southpark Records)
Frank Martin – Feelin' Good (Sounds Of Juan)
Jazzforfish – Nothing From Nowhere EP (The Bodhi Tree)
Jet Project – So Fly album sampler (Snatch!)
Mastercris – My Pleasure EP (Acryl Music)
Mat.Joe – Heart To Find EP (OFF Recordings)
Angelo Fracalanza – Keep Walking (Miami Sessions)
Micc – The Mild EP (Endemic Digital)
Mojito feat MJ White – I Wanna Rock You (Sugar Groove)
MPRT – From The Rare Lands (Par Recordings)
Myles Bigelow – Flite Sessions EP (Deep Culture Music)
Never Knows feat Kevin Knapp – Untitled 24 (Untitled & After)
Previous Experts – Always Cut, Never Boost (Influential House)
Retrac – Shades EP (Indigo Raw)
Seyser Uysal presents Spennu – Je Te Veux (Savoir Faire Musique)
Shades Of Gray – Listen To The Bass EP (Blacksoul Music)
Speak Deep & Joy Lee – Existentialism (Nite Grooves)
Sunshine Jones – Dirty Love [Remixes] (Nite Grooves)
Taster Peter & Phunx – All I Want Is EP (Clash Music)

Expect the usual TIWWD mix of deep, tech and soulful house, deep techno, nu-disco, etc… beyond that I'm afraid you'll just have to do a bit of Googling but suffice to say there should be enough gems in there to keep DJs of various persuasions busy till I get back.

Be good while I'm away, won't you? And remember: don't let anyone in, and don't touch the cooker!

Various – Up Side Down 03

Up Side Down 03 Sincopat
Some really quite ludicrously good house music on this five-tracker from Sincopat, the third in the label's Up Side Down EP series showcasing rising talent.

Flavio Acaron & Hugh Harry's Thankful both opens and closes the EP (in its Original and Dub mixes), and is as fine a slab of big, dramatic tech-soul made for dark rooms as you could ask for. In-between, Gabriele Mancino's Feel Da House wears influences from disco and hip-house on its sleeve without being cheesy in the slightest, Metodi Hristov's Drama is indeed big and dramatic, once more pairing techy beats with soulful vox, while Thunderclap's Repeat is a more overty technoid and dark affair.

Having to rush this review a bit cos I'm about to shoot off to a festival (Shambala), but yeah, this is superb stuff – don't sleep.

Out: This week

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

Tom Taylor & Gareth Whitehad feat Robert Owens - I Came To Dance

Tom Taylor Gareth Whitehead Robert Owens I Came To Dance Lost My Dog
And from a brace of brand new labels to one of the UK's best-loved, with the latest from Lost My Dog.

They've pulled off something of a coup this time out, securing the vocal services of the mighty Robert Owens. The Chicago veteran's distinctive tonsils are in full effect here, informing us of his intentions vis à vis the rhythmic movement of his body in time with the music and the emotional and spiritual benefits thereof, over a backing that a time machine-equipped raver wandering in from 1989 would have no problem whatsoever in identifying with. The Deepened Remix shouldn't take much explaining, while a brace of rerubs from label co-owner Pete Dafeet go down a more small-hours, acid-y path.

Straight-up house music the way we used to do it, nuff said.

Out: This week

About: Find Lost My Dog here, here and here (web, Facebook, Soundcloud).

Jace Syntax – Sinister Microns

Jace Syntax Sinister Microns Murge Recordings
Another new label here… this time one based in Portsmouth, UK, called Murge Recordings.

This is only their third release but beyond the low-digit catalogue number there's not a lot else 'newbie-ish' about it at all. Sinister Microns in its Original form is a bubbling, driving cut sitting right on the house/techno borderline, while a Mark Ambrose Remix takes us into deeper, darker acid territories and will be the one for more headstrong floors. But the standout for me is the Colin Dale Remix – a highly polished, classic-sounding production that shows just why this veteran London producer has so many friends in house and techno camps alike.

Quality house and techno grooves… a brand new UK label… you know what to do folks. And if you don't, try asking Robin S for some suggestions :-)

Out: This week

About: After I gave positive feedback on this, Kelly at Murge was kind enough to send through the label's two previous releases as well. Which means I can safely tell you that a) this isn't just a one-off on the quality front and b) if classic-style dark, driving acid house and techno is your thang then you need to be keeping an eye on these guys. Which you can do by visiting their website, Facebook or Soundcloud.

Various – Faint Frequency Records sampler

Various Faint Frequency Records sampler
Okay, consider this a VERY early heads-up on this one! This is a sampler EP from a brand new label based in Washington, DC… and while I'm led to believe it IS kind of available, they're still in the process of getting distribution sorted so you might be best contacting 'em direct.

But it'll be worth your while if you do – this is quality stuff, rest assured. In total, you get four tracks of deep house in various shades from Yush, plus two more downtempo/leftfield excursions from Big In Malta. Big In Malta's Of Quiet Birds Circling In Flight – an exercise in ultra-deep D&B – and the jazzy, hip house-inflected Culture Of Divide by Yush stand out for me, but truth be told there's not a duff cut in sight.

A very impressive debut, let's hope we hear more soon.

Out: Now (sort of… see above)

About: You can find Faint Frequency Records here, here and here (web, Facebook, Soundcloud)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Wez Saunders – Dancing And Losing Control EP

Wez Saunders Dancing And Losing Control EP Hype Muzik
A simple two-tracker here from Mr Endemic Digital himself, but this time coming on the vaguely affiliated Hype Muzik.

The A-side is called The A-Side and is a nice chunky, unhurried organ-fuelled deep house/deep garage, with a female vocal wail sitting on top that reminds me so much of Blind Truth's Love Is The Key from back in the day it's not true. If it's actually a sample then 20 spotter points to me! Anyway yeah, it's a winner.

But the confusingly named The B-Side (Dancing And Losing Control) is even better, a slightly more driving, upbeat deep houser with – as seems to be very in-vogue at the moment – chipmunk'y rave vox, in this case the same Nona Hendryx sample as was used in Krome + Time's The Slammer (nil spotter points for that one though, it says it right here on the press release). There's some nice old skool piano action in there, too, though it's quite subtle.

Put together, two strong tracks add up to one must-check EP!

Out: This week

About: Find Hype Muzik at their own blog.

Daat – Orange Line

Daat Orange Line Organic Beats
I posted the video for this on the Facebook page earlier, but that was just the A-side. And it's really the AA-side that we need to discuss.

Cos the A-side's fine, in fact it's a rather pleasant slice of downtempo electronica that reminds me a little bit of Yellow Magic Orchestra and a little bit of Tangerine Dream. But it's the AA-side that's of most TIWWD interest, where you'll find lurking a refix from the D&B legend that is Deep Blue. In his hands, Orange Line becomes a sublimely deep, liquid-y, chilled-out affair that'll appeal to D&B fans and non-fans alike.

"A collage of smooth glacial textures with hypnotic driving beats," is how the hype sheet describes it, and yeah, I'll second that.

Out: This week

About: Now, this gets a bit complicated. This comes on UK label Organic Beats, but its catalogue number is OBSORG002 and it's actually a joint EP series conjured up by Organic and US D&B imprint Offshore Recordings.

Owen Howells – The Seen EP

Owen Howells The Seen EP Shades Of Grey
Three mixes on offer of this deep gem from Owen Howells.

In its Original form, The Seen is a tech-tinged low-end rumbler with a distinctive "I've seen things/things you'll never, ever see" spoken vocal looping pretty much throughout and a slightly dubby kinda vibe. Rico Casazza's remix takes us even deeper into late-night territory – though there's still a fairly strong 4/4 if you think your afterhours floor can take it – and has a dreamy, proggy feel, and plenty of distortion applied to the vox. The standout for me, though, is the Dexter Kane Remix, which is similar in vibe to the original but leaning a little more to the house-y side.

Quality tackle for sofa-surfers everywhere, whichever mix you go for.

Out: This week

About: This comes on UK label Shades Of Grey, which is co-run by Owen himself along with Fybe:One and Duct, and which shouldn't be confused with the Aussie/Czech production outfit Shades Of Gray. Or a certain book. Anyway you can find 'em here (Facebook) and also here (Soundcloud)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Neil Rush – Your Lies EP

Neil Rush Your Lies EP Dance Through Life
A three-tracker here from Dance Through Life, doing their bit as ever to keep the house music flag flying in New York.

Your Lies itself is a chunkily-basslined trip into inner space… think vintage Strobe on steroids. Never Never Never is an even dreamier affair, but underpinned with surprisingly fierce n' firing 4/4s, while finally Get A Rush is a an epic, blissed-out, end-of-nite type track with a little more of a European feel.

If the Lower East comp below is the sound of underground London in 2012, then this is the sound of underground NYC. And that's SURELY something you'll be wanting to keep an ear on, no?

Out: This week

About: You can find Dance Through Life here, here and here (website, Facebook, Soundcloud)

Farfan & Seb – Not Yours EP

Farfan & Sebb Not Yours EP Unrivaled Music
This EP reminds me of one of my favourite jokes. What do you call some cheese that doesn't belong to you? Nacho cheese!

Anyway, excruciating cheese puns aside, this is the latest from Unrivaled Music and a simple two-track affair. The title cut is a squelchy, rough-edged marriage of jackin' acid, tuff tribal drums and lo-slung disco/boogie sleaze… and it works. Fuck big beat and the Chemical Brothers, THIS is what 'amyl house' should sound like! Boat Wreck on the B, meanwhile, is a somewhat smoother ride with R&B laydeez supplying the vox, but that 'grubby warehouse at 5am' feel isn't dispensed with entirely.

It's the A that's doing it best for me, though.

Out: This week

About: You can find Unrivaled Music at the Endemic Digital Facebook page.

Various – Inner Circles Vol 2

Inner Circles Vol 2 Lower East
A compilation/showcase offering here from London's uber-cool Lower East label, with ten tracks split across two separate EP releases.

I'm not going into every track individually but the artists involved are (deep breath): Michael Jansons, Cozzy D, Lee Brinx, Johnny Mikes, Alexis Raphael, Rebel, Viadrina, Le Vinyl & Gelabert feat Sacha D Flame, Tom Budden and Subsonik – some of which names will be familiar to TIWWD readers, some of which will be new. And I think it's fair to say overall that if you took ten artists to one side and said, paint me a picture of the hipster house sound of London right now, it'd probably sound much like this.

Fusing influences from deep and tech house, techno and (in several places, anyway) R&B and UK garage, this is so 'now' it hurts but there are certainly gems to be discovered, such as the ominous disco-tech of Budden's All I Know, Le Vinyl & Gelabert's jackin' Make It, Cozzy D's UKG-ish wobbler Bullseye or the bumpin' nu-boogie of Jansons' I Know You're Feeling OK.

So discover them, why don't you?

Out: This week

About: You can find Lower East on Soundcloud, on Facebook or their website, though again they haven't actually built the latter yet*. Still.

* Judging by the various artists' haircut (singular) maybe it's a fashion thing… is not having a website the new having a website or something? I wouldn't know, I'm old. I remember when it was all ZX81s and calculator watches round 'ere…

Kel Quadrant – Jazz Face EP

Kel Quadrant Jazz Face EP Dizzy Funk
The fourth release here from Sean Dizzyfunk's label Dizzy Funk Music and, as the name might imply, jazz-fuelled, bumpin' deep house bizniss is the order of the day.

In its Original form, Jazz Face is fairly sparse, all tumbling drums, trumpet parps and spoken vocal samples from the "deep-voiced old-time musician talking about the good ol' days" school of thought. The Chris Quadrant Remix uses more of said vocal, which it marries with rolling beats, a phat-ass b-line and most importantly lashings of meandering saxomophone for a warmer ride… it's groovy, baby.

Elsewhere, Jazz Funkin' (or rather the Kinky Movement Remix thereof) is a more pumping dancefloor deep houser with another phat bassline, and with geetars wukka-wukking in the background behind garage-y vocal snips, while finally Jazz Facing In Outer Space is another more uptempo cut but this time one aimed more at the very late floors with its long, spaced-out backgrounds and overall trippy feel.

A strong deep house package you could reach for in a variety of situations, without a duff cut in sight – if pushed the Chris Quadrant Remix of the title track edges it for me.

Out: This week

About: You can find Dizzyfunk in Peterborough, if you happen to be passing that way. OR you can find them on Facebook, on Soundcloud or at their own website (still under construction at the mo' but we live in hope)

Monday, 20 August 2012

Gone Deville – Tell Somebody

Gone Deville Tell Somebody Mile End Records
Another lil' deep house gem here from Canada's Mile End Records, coming in two quite different mixes.

Hector Couto's Remix may, I suspect, be the one that gets the most plays out in Hipsterville, what with its druggy, techy, heads-down vibe. But if pushed, it's actually the Original that's doing it slightly better for me, this mix being in a more 'traditional', more funkied deep house vein with touches of nu-disco about it too… oh yeah, and more of the vocal.

Personal preference aside, though, this is a very solid bet whichever mix you plump for.

Out: This week

About: You can find Mile End on Soundcloud and Facebook.

So many tunes, so little time 26

Sorry for the paucity of updates at the weekend, I was helping my girlfriend move house so when I wasn't lugging huge boxes of utterly needless kitchenware up and down stairs I was mostly collapsed on a sofa. So before we get on with this week's reviews here's the rest of the goodies from last week…

On a tech-house tip Dekontrol's Now/Addicted on Detroit's Incorrect Music, J&S Project vs Raffaele Rizzi's White Sands on Southpark and George Privatti's Lomato on Selected Records are all well worth checking, as is The Twister & West On 27th [Jerome Robins Mixes] on Primal Recordings, which sees a couple of Hooj Choons prog/trance faves from the late 90s given a 2012 tech-house makeover.

Moving into deeper territories, Ramon Tapia's Wonderland EP is the third fine release on his own Say What? label, Inkfish's Altar Server on Form-and Function brings some deep tech-soul, and there's more soulfully-inclined deepness from Unrivaled Music in the form of the Black Sunset/Sylvie EP from Georgeous. Haldo feat Henri Kohn & Miss Ann-P serve up some glitzier house grooves with Rhythm on Conya DigitalJoe Morris gets down, discoid and sleazy with Yello Haze on 3am Recordings, while the third and final installment in the Love Is The Devil Remixes series from Blu Mar Ten on his own label is a very solid bet for deep, chilled, liquid-y D&B.

King Street offshoot Street King come strong with two different After Hours Ibiza 2012 EPs, one available on Beatport and the other on Traxsource. Between them there are 23 tracks so you can't fault 'em on VFM! Expect various shades of deep/tech house and, yes, the usual high quality standards apply.

And finally a shout going out to my man Jesus Pablo… thanks for the kind words on Facebook, it's very nice to be someone's "favourite blogger". But as you point out, I do pretty much review everything Something Different releases so for the (admittedly very fine) Something Different Remixes EP you'll have to make do with this lil' mention right here!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Tufan Demir – Making Bounces EP

Tufan Demir Making Bounces EP Deep House Proposal
Only the second release* from Deep House Proposal here, coming from Istanbul's Tufan Demir.

In its Original form, Making Bounces itself is a lazy, laidback deep houser with a strong disco influence, while a remix from Sarp Yilmaz beefs up the beats for maximum floor appeal and all but ditches the looping fem vox in favour of some ker-razy ass piano licks. Elsewhere, More Feedback is a proper deep n' chunky free party groover, coming complete with a slightly more polished/accessible Club Mix, while finally Midweek Groove is all militant 909s counterpointed with warm, warping pads and floaty, garage-y vocal samples.

Five tracks of quality, real-deal underground house bizniss from a label that's just getting started… show some love peeps!

Out: This week

About: The best place to find Deep House Proposal seems to be their blog – click here to grab a whole series of their podcasts.

*Or third, depending on whether you count the remixes of the first one

Bruno B & Eddi M - 2nd Floor EP

Bruno B & Eddi M 2nd Floor EP Conya Digital
Some very now-sounding grooves here from stalwart German label Conya Digital.

2nd Floor itself is a low-slung groover sitting somewhere between slo-mo house and nu-disco, with a synth line that's so Around The World it almost hurts… but in a good way. On the B, Woodwind is a slowly-evolving warm-up or post-club affair, with plenty of woodwind of course but also a vaguely Afro feel and some cosmic disco synths.

It's 2nd Floor I'm feeling the most but Woodwind will also find its way into many sets I'm sure.

Out: This week

About: You can find Conya Digital on Facebook, or at the website for parent label Clubstar.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Veerus & Maxie Devine – Dunno/QWERTY

Veerus & Maxie Devine Dunno/QWERTY Deeperfect
Fairly typical Deeperfect fare here in that they're pitching it as techno but it sounds more like tech-house to me… not that these things really matter, of course!

So, Dunno is a rolling, lolloping, heads-down kinda groover pretty much from start to finish… there is one short passage with a big techno synth riff, but even that's pretty understated and it only lasts for about 30 seconds anyway! It's also got a distinctive "Oh my god… it's techno music!" vocal stab that'll raise a smile, and that helps it stand out from similar tracks. Meanwhile QWERTY on the B is a touch fiercer, but still not so much so that it'd scare off the house heads.

Regardless of whatever genre pigeonhole you want to put them in, then, these are two pumping cuts that'll keep dancefloors rocking for sure. And sometimes that's all you need, innit?

Out: This week

About: You can find Italian label Deeperfect on Soundcloud, on Facebook, or at the website for parent label Sound4Group.

Smak AKA Steve McCready - The Summer Of Love EP 2

Smak AKA Steve McCready Summer Of Love Part 2 Hype Muzik
Some quality house vibes as ever here from Steve McCready, coming on Hype Muzik.

There's four tracks on offer. Bundle is a mid-paced affair with chopped, looped female vocal snippets and a lead M1 organ riff… which means it was never really gonna fail with this reviewer! Deeper Shades Of Violet is as the name suggests a deeper, more late-night/post-club kinda cut, working a gentle melodic groove and some vaguely Balearic/nu-disco-ish synths. Do It Again is a bouncier tech-house with hints of disco around the edges, and then finally Disco In The House… well that's another tin-says-does number but it does what it does well (and it's far more 'cool nu-disco' than 'cheesy disco-house', just in case you were worried).

I saw someone's feedback on this one that just said, "It's Smak, nuff said!" I can see where the poster was coming from, put it that way. If you're not already keeping an eye on this guy, you should be.

Out: This week

About: You can find Hype Muzik at the Stripped Muzik Club blog.

Heston – From Your Soul

Heston From Your Soul Zouch Records
Only the second release here from fledgling UK label Zouch Records, who are based in London.

There's just the two mixes to talk about. With its big, dramatic and slightly proggy tech-house vibe topped by a soulful male vocal, From Your Soul in its Original form doesn't half remind me of Joy For Life's Warm It Up from back in the day… only at Today's Lower Tempos!™of course. As for the remix, that comes from label boss Delia Zouch and adds some raw, rave-y synths, nudging us even further towards prog territory.

Solid stuff from a label that, on the evidence so far, will be worth keeping an eye on…

Out: This week

About: You can find Zouch Records on Soundcloud (where you can HEAR THIS) and on Facebook.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Roy RosenfelD – I Like

Roy Rosenfled I Like Rusted Records
We seem to be on something of a jackin', heads-down kinda tip tonight so here's some more drummy tech bizniss courtesy of Roy RosenfelD and Rusted Records.

There are three mixes of I Like. The Original is big n' bouncy and to these ears has something of that Great Stuff kinda feel about it… it's also got an attitude-y and rather rude female vocal*. David Herrero's deeper remix has whooshy drums that make me think of tribal NYC house circa 1994/95 while the Khainz Remix is a more struttin', funkified affair.

Again, three solid and varied cuts that'll cut the mustard on the dancefloor mos' def. Should you happen to need any mustard cutting… what a strange expression that is.

Out: This week

About: Rusted Records are based in Israel and can be found on Facebook and Soundcloud, or at their own website.

* Unless I'm mishearing her and doing the girl a disservice, of course… you are after all talking to a man who, as a small boy in late 1970s New Jersey, thought Chic had a song that went "Le Freak - say shit" so I have been known to be wrong in these matters before!

d00sh – Mystic

D00sh Mystic Endemic Digital
I'm a big fan of d00sh… this latest for Endemic Digital doesn't disappoint.

What I'm finding particularly non-disappointing about it, apart from the shuffling tech-house beats and soaring synths, is the bassline on the Original Mix, which nods towards the classic Expansions/Talkin' All That Jazz b-line without actually ripping it off… clever stuff that gives this tech-houser that crucial slightly funkier edge.

A brace of more heads-down, afterhours-style remixes come from Sean Danke and Squicciarini… neither tops the Original for me but both are plenty playable for sure, making for a very solid package all round.

Out: This week

About: Find Endemic Digital on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Darius Syrossian – My Side Project EP

Darius Syrossian My Side Project EP Mile End Records
Darius Syrossian returns to Canada's Mile End Records, who apparently had to compete with the likes of Jamie Jones, DJ Sneak and Andre Crom to sign this.

And no wonder… the title track here is as fine a slab of 100% non-cheesy, jackin' disco house as you'll hear all week. It's also probably the only record you'll hear all week that's got a vocal that goes "You know what that is? That's a fucking TUBA!" Well, it made me smile…

Over on the B, 1994 Session is, on the whole, a more contemporary-sounding slice of deep/tech action than the name might suggest, though it does have a big wobbling acid bassline… and it comes complete with a deeper refix from Butler & Murt that ditches the 303, adds a spoken, French-accented female vocal and ends up sounding, to these ears, not entirely unlike Deee-Lite's What Is Love? remade in a 2012 Berlin/London stylee.

Which is meant as a compliment, BTW! All told, three very strong tracks, and quite varied as well, so you can't really go wrong.

Out: This week

About: Find Mile End on Facebook or Soundcloud

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Sarrass – A New Day

Sarrass A New Day Third Ear
Sticking with tonight's deep, deep theme, here we have a simple two-tracker from a German producer who's previously had stuff out on the very fine Compost Black Label.

Sarrass cites Krautrock legend Klaus Schulze as his biggest inspiration in the world of electronic music. So the Original Mix's mantra-like repetition of musical phrases should come as no surprise. A New Day is just that little bit too rhythmically twitchy and non-wallpaperish to sit comfortably under the 'Balearic' banner, but you'd be in the right kind of area.

It's the Spacefunk Remix, though, that stands out for me. Topping warm and slightly less twitchy 4/4s and a subtly funky bassline with tinkling jazz pianos and analogue synth meanderings worthy of his hero Schulze's sometime cohorts Tangerine Dream themselves, this is late-night, headfried deep house at its finest.

Out: This week

About: This comes on London-based label Third Ear Recordings, who can be found here, here and here (web, Facebook, Soundcloud). Oh, and it's the trailer single for a new album, Dirty Gear, which is due in 2013 so keep 'em peeled.

Mr Pedros – The Lesson EP

Mr Pedros The Lesson EP Midnight Social Recordings
After getting all garage-y and post-this and future-that yesterday, tonight let's take it deep, deep down… starting with this quality four-tracker from Sankey's resident Mr Pedros.

The title track is an energetic but not frenetic deep house dancefloor groover, coming accompanied by a techier and slightly acid-tinged rerub from Lee Guthrie. S'good, but B-side Poetry Deux is even better.  The crisp percussion, brooding chords and chopped vox-en-Francais of the Original Mix are pretty damn spiffing to start with, but just wait till you get to the Dave James refix.

Mr James has long been a TIWWD fave when it comes to proper heads-only deepness, so when I tell you his mix is actually called the Dave James Droning Dub, well, it won't really need much more explaining. But it's wicked stuff, rest assured.

Proving yet again that less is, indeed, more!

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 10 September

About: This comes atcha courtesy of Carlos Gambino's Midnight Social Recordings.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Everyman – Take The Block EP

Everyman Take The Block EP Four40
We stay on a kinda post-dubstep/future garage tip now with the latest from the slightly mysterious Four40 Records.

The standout of this four-tracker for me is No Doubt, which comes on like the bastard love-child of Never Gonna Let You Go and Show You Love. Which was never going to fail to please this reviewer! But elsewhere on the EP, the title track fuses dubstep with fierce and firing tech-house, Let It Up wears influences from early jungle and the sparsest of two-step proudly on its sleeve while the chipmunk-vocalled Player has echoes of both bassline circa 2003-5 and, of course, classic rave.

This is one of those records that manages to sound simultaneously like A. everything you ever heard all at once and B. the future. You need to check it out. Review ends.

Out: This week. Oh yeah, and it's a Juno Download exclusive.

About: You can find Four40 on Facebook and Soundcloud.

J Cub feat BiBi – Crying Over You

J Cub feat BiBi Crying Over You Saints & Sonnets
If I ever did a list of the Top 10 Most Under-Rated Albums In Dance Music, then featuring highly on that chart would be Donna Dee's Spellbound from 1998.

I mention this now because this could have been lifted straight from said album, featuring as it does the same combination of fragile, slow-moving, garage-derived beats, lush chords and wistful female vocals that – shock! – actually say something. And I don't say that in a "derivative rubbish, heard it all before" way but in a "this is ruddy marvellous, why don't more people make music like this?" way. Just so's we're clear.

Remixes come from RNDM and BJNJM*, with the former adding some extra bottom-end warmth, the latter additional percussive elements. I'd say RNDM's rub works slightly better for me but both are playable since neither, thankfully, fucks too much with the overall sparse, soulful feel.

But it's the Original that stands out, all the same. It's an absolute killer.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Huxley and Jimmy Poster's v. hip Saints & Sonnets label… find 'em on Soundcloud and Facebook, or check out their shows on Pulse Radio.

*wht s t wth ths ppl? r thy frm Bsn r smwhr ls wth n vwls?

Sunday, 12 August 2012

So many tunes, so little time 25

This has been something of a mega massive monster week for single releases for some reason… as such there's a ton of stuff we haven't talked about yet so gonna have to rattle through these pretty quickly!

Autim – Fragment Sounds Of Juan
Solid deep/tech fare from Sounds Of Juan, with a proggy feel. The Tini Tun mix stands out for me.

Chris Vega + Etienner Copse – Eh Mama Na  Influential House
Not so into the kiddy-chorus vocals but the House Of Virus remix has some pleasing classic Chicago-style percussion and big throbbing rave-y synths.

Circle Of Funk feat Lifford – Give It To Me Slapped Up Soul
Trad-style soulful house grooves for the faithful, with or without an R&B-ish male vocal from former Artful Dodger collaborator Lifford.

Danny Clark & Jay Benham – I Knew You feat Robert Owens  Hatchwork
A more experimental, techy offering than we're used to hearing graced by the Owens tonsils, with Isaac's Hatchwork remix my pick though the Wez Saunders mix has some cool organ sounds. Only the second release from a new UK label, as well…

Digital Dirt – More In The Tank EP  Click Therapy
Click Therapy are another label who can always be relied on to come up with the tech-house goods, with the standout here for me Carlo Gambino's rub of B-side Dirty Money.

dubspeeka – Blackout Skeleton Recordings
Some properly DARK techno with a hint of dubstep influence… cool stuff, and it comes from TIWWD's hometown of Bristol to boot.

Eric Powa B – Last Train To Nairobi  Nite Grooves
Not really 'me' TBH but if you like your house with an Afro/Latin/ethnic slant (and lots of peeps do), then you need to check this seven-track EP in the spirit of the Abstract Lounge series.

JaTay + Dynamic Trip – Plenty More Fish  Quadraphonic Recordings
One from the tuffer end of tech-house, with a sampled jazz/swing vocal on B-side When I See You.

Jet Project – Yes Yes Y'All  Snatch!
Big room yet still credible house/tech-house beats from Kissy Sell Out's label, with remixes from Yousef and Stacey Pullen, no less.

Joris Delacroix + Dual – Givin' Head Way Of House
Laidback, summery 'beach house' grooves from France.

LigaLize – Broken Clock EP  Friday Lights Exclusive
More deep, dark and driving techno bizniss. Don't play the Go + Morgon Mix (especially) right after the record above or you might frighten yourself… I just did.

Lutzenkirchen/Gilbert Martini  #30Platform B
Two tracks from Lutzenkirchen and one from Martini, with tough tech-house/techno the general order of the day. Heads down, everyone!

Markey – Dawn EP  Tonkind
Not to be confused with Brazilian D&B star DJ Marky, Sander Markey is a Belgian producer now living in Berlin. This EP sounds like it was made in Berlin, put it that way!

Maya Jane Coles/Shenoda/Huxley Three1Trax
Huxley remixes of Maya Jane's Dazed and Shenoda's Moments. Every bit as 'now' and rocking as that sounds, it's also a sampler for Huxley's soon-come debut mix comp so watch this space…

Paul Anthony + Mike Gillenwater – Everybody Chicken Fried Disco
Big-room, hi-octane disco house that'll go down well with young, up-for-it and unsnobby crowds.

Roland Klinkenberg – Kindred Spirits EP Everysoul
And at just about the opposite end of the spectrum from the above, here's a four-track EP of laidback, mellow grooves sitting just on the right side of the border between deep house and chill-out. The Dub Mix of the title cut is the killer for me, and perfect for those post-club, driftaway moments…

Slok/Djuma Soundsystem – Lonely Child/Come Together  My Favorite Robot
Djuma's Come Together is the star here, marrying deep tech-house grooves with a strong electro influence. As in proper 80s ghettoblaster-and-Patrick-cagoule electro, you understand, not as in the shitty euronuravepop you'll hear in the 'dance' tent at corporate festivals.

Soul Alive – The Parallel World  Incepto Smooth
More of the Russian label's trademark blissful, chilled-out downtempo bizniss. When the cares of the world have gotten a bit much, visit a parallel one…

Sound Gypsy – Whatever  Dobara Music
A four-track EP you can file somewhere between deep house, leftfield disco and Balearic. It's the Midnight Perverts Making Love Remix of Whatever that stands out for me but it's only the second release from a new UK label, so please do show some love and check it out for yourself!

Technodreamer – Excitation EP  Spring Tube Limited
Two deep, dark and moody progressive house cuts with a techno slant from this Lithuanian producer, and the very first release on Spring Tube's new, more eclectic offshoot.

The Time & Space Machine – Good Morning  Tirk
With less of a house/disco/electronic influence than normal, this cut lifted from the Taste The Lazer album is pretty much classic-style psych/shoegaze from Richard Norris – think Spacemen 3 or Primal Scream circa Sonic Flower Groove. More floor-oriented rubs come from St Etienne and (my pick) Leftside Wobble.

Tomaz Vs Filterheadz – Sunshine 2012 1605 Music Therapy
New mixes of this terrace-techno fave from 10 years back courtesy of Umek, D.Ramirez, Uto Karem, Filthy Rich and Filterheadz themselves.

Universal Solution feat LaMeduza – You'll See  Manchester Underground Music
More chilled-out, Ibiza-friendly 'beach house' vibes here, with the Save.As Remix edging it for me.

Right, they say 23 is a magic number so that'll do for tonight!

Jesus Pablo & Robot Needs Oil ft Novac – No Regrets

Liverpool's Jesus Pablo teams up with Manchester-based Polish producer Greg Kobe, AKA Robot Needs Oil, for this single on veteran US label i! Records.

In its Original form, No Regrets sports a male vocal that sits somewhere between 'indie-ish' and old-time crooners like Charles Aznavour or Maurice Chevalier. Musically, it's a floaty, laidback kind of piece not a million miles from the kind of ethereal soundscapes conjured by (eg) Trentemøller.

The Left Minded Remix is a tad housier while Cesar Coronado's rub fuses influences from progressive house and nu/cosmic disco, but it's the Bubba Remix that's doing it best for me – an unhurried chugger for the afterhours joints, with plenty of fat squelching bass and considerably less of the vocal.

Something of a departure from JP, this, but at least you can't accuse him of getting stuck in a rut…

Out: This week

About: You can find i! Records at their website or on Facebook.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

ALBUM Soul Sway/Various – Moods Vol One

Soul Sway Moods Vol One Savoir Faire Musique
I've been banging on about how good Savoir Faire Musique are for ages. Precisely a year, in fact. And now they're celebrating their first birthday with their very first mix album, compiled and mixed by label stalwart Soul Sway, so if you've still to get onboard the SFM groovy train you've no excuses any more!

The album features ten tracks culled from SFM's first year in the game, and is available in both mixed and unmixed versions. Artists include Stanny Abram, Tony S, Pretty Criminals, Matthieu Duchesne, Soul Sway himself and more, and as most if not all of these tracks have been reviewed on TIWWD in their own right previously, you should have a pretty good idea what to expect by now!

If you've just come in, though, then suffice to say deep, sultry house music for grown-ups is the general order of the day. That's not to suggest any lack of energy, just that if your floor's full of 18-year-olds hyped up on alcopops and/or zonked on horse tranquillisers, these aren't the tunes to reach for. But if classy, sensual grooves, often with a soulful/garage bent but with the odd excursion into techier territories are what you're after, then few do it better than Savoir Faire. Here's the proof.

Out: This week

About: You can find out more about Savoir Faire Musique by hitting up their Soundcloud or Facebook pages.

Gary Optim – Lucem

Gary Optim Lucem Evo Music
Only the third release from fledgling UK deep/tech house label Evo Music here, and it turns out to be something of a treat for all the late-night sofa surfers out there…

There are three mixes of Lucem to choose from. The Original is a very deep, sparse affair, with something of a trippy, lost-in-the-rainforest kinda feel to it.  Andy LeMac's remix starts out equally deep but then gets a little busier and a little wonkier from about three minutes in, ending with two minutes of off-kilter beats and not a lot else – one for the afterhours spots, methinks – while the Stride Remix ups the tempo to make this the most obviously floor-friendly pass of the three.

It's the Original I'm liking best personally but you'll no doubt have your own opinions… as ever, though, it's just good to see another new label on the scene.

Out: This week

About: You can find Evo Music at their Facebook page. And, I don't normally do this but seeing as they're new, here's where to buy it.

Hidde M – Rock It Now

Hidde M Rock It Now Dance Through Life
Been trying to blog about this one all week, and failing… because there are no fewer than 11 mixes, and by the time you get to number 9 or 10 you've forgotten what the first one was like, and so it goes on. The positive aspect of all that round-in-circles-ness, though, is that at the start of the week I wasn't into the Underworld-ish vocal at all – but after a week of hearing it every day, I rather like it…

So, the Original here is an upbeat, driving and chunky groover with something of an indie-dance feel, and with said vocal ("I left you all alone, to build a rocket now") in full effect. And then, of course, you get 10 mixes to choose from, so it's hard to imagine many jocks operating in the house/tech-house arena not finding something to play. For me it's a toss-up between the ultra-deep rub from Bryan Cosgrove or  the bubblin' acid of the Love Barve Remix for first place, with Pao Calderon's brace of disco-tinged reworks and Jonathan Stomr's bass-heavy, rave-y take also very playable. But elsewhere there's deep prog from Kertek, tribal drum biznis from Victor Saguanza and more besides… with every mix bar Pao C's Dub featuring the vocal to a greater or lesser degree (often in heavily treated form).

Usually when a label chucks this many mixes at something it means one of two things: they either have lots of faith in the track, or not very much at all. In this case it should be the former cos it is something of a biggie, truth be told. Rock it now indeed.

Out: This week

About: This is the latest from New York's Dance Through Life, who can be found on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Koen Groeneveld – Launched EP

Koen Groenveld Launched EP Deeperfect
It's Friday night, so it seems appropriate to up the pace a little…

So what we have here, then, are two firing tech-house bullets aimed fair and square at peaktime play. Launched itself tops off a rolling groove with a rave-y synth riff, while Stabilizer is a more pulsing, throbbing kind of affair that reminds me of early progressive house. Something of a retro feel all round, then!

It's built to do a job this EP, admittedly… but it'll do that job very reliably indeed so where's the beef, as the Yanks would say?

Out: This week

About: This is the latest from Italy's Deeperfect, who you can find on Facebook or Soundcloud, or at the parent Sound4Group website.

Sumsuch – Chop Shop

Sumsuch Chop Shop DeepWit
Can everyone stop calling their records Chop Shop, please? I nearly didn't review this, cos I got it muddled up with Toob's Chop Shop 2 EP that was out a couple of weeks ago… glad I realised the error of my blonde, easily confused ways, though, cos it turns out to be another fine slab of deep house from the ever-dependable DeepWit.

Actually, that said… this is also something of a departure for the label, going a little further down the tech/prog route than the uber-deep tackle we know and love 'em for, at least on the Original and Disclosure Project mixes. But rest assured the usual high quality standards apply. The real treat though is Deep Spelle's Back To The ’80s Remix, which adds a spoken, sampled vocal ("In the ’70s, melody ruled the world… in the ’80s, GROOVES are ruling the world), and is more 'typically DeepWit'.

For which read, typically ace. Acquire.

Out: This week

About: Find DeepWit here, here and here (web, Facebook, Soundcloud)

Android Cartel – Tattle Tale Nightlife EP

Android Cartel Tattle Tale Nightlife EP F*** House Music
Been a while since we heard from F*** House Music… all the activity of late seems to have been around sister label Sleazy Deep. But here they are back again with a three-tracker from LA's Android Cartel, a duo comprising DONS Reagan and Chris AKA (NB: those may not be their real names).

The hype sheet has this down as techno, but I'd say tech-house was at least equally fitting a description, especially in the current climate (see Pig & Dan review, below). Nightlife rides a chugging, rolling rhythm with a male vocal that sounds like it's saying 'LSD, well well' but probably isn't. Tattle Tale Room is in a similar kinda vein, a little bit tougher perhaps but still not enough so to frighten off house peeps, while To The Rescue is a tuff, drummy and echo-y affair with a vocal that may or may not be a heavily-treated lift from Happiness Is Just Around The Bend*… actually, again it probably isn't but you get the idea.

A solid bet if your floors like it a little tougher and more driving. I believe there's also a remix EP doing the rounds but I – sob! – didn't get sent that…

Out: This week

About: You can find F*** House Music at their website, on Facebook and on Soundcloud.

*As also used on Nightmares On Wax's Aftermath and Renegade feat Ray Keith's Something I Feel back in the day, if that helps.

Stefan Kaye – Summer Days EP

Stefan Kaye Summer Days EP Endemic Digital
Sorry to revert to clichés but the clue really is in the title with this one, as Stefan Kaye serves up some mellow, sunshine-infused deep house grooves for your beach-loungin' pleasure.

There are four tracks in total, and while the above description pretty much covers them all, we can't really just leave the review there. So, Summer Days itself is a little bit disco-tinged (but just a little bit), I Can See Your Love is out-and-out floaty n' Balearic, Right Time is more laidback and sultry while the pick for me is The Penthouse, a proper deep n' lazy late-night gem.

And what do you know, the sun's actually shining as I write this and everything! Hurrah.

Out: This week

About: This comes courtesy of our old friends Endemic Digital, who seem to be mostly contactable via Facebook at the mo'

ALBUM Quincy Jointz – Lime Sorbet II

Quincy Joints Lime Sorbet 2 Eighth Dimension
The second compilation from German DJ Quincy Jointz, in the spirit of his former radio show of the same name.

Informed by funk, hip-hop, Afrobeat, boogaloo, acid jazz and 60s Hammond mod grooves, the album apparently "spotlights some of the coolest acts in the funky nu-boogie scene"… well, I wouldn't know about scenes, but artists include Ursula 1000, Stereo 77, DJ Kid Stretch, jazz.k.lippa, Zamali, DJ Enne and many more. And if that's not much help… think Gilles P at Dingwalls, Deee-Lite circa Dewdrops In The Garden, late-period Beasties, Across The Tracks and the kind of dusty funk-breaks LA's Cold Busted label do so well – all mashed together at some mojito-fuelled pool party and laced liberally with familiar samples – and you're kind of in the right ballpark.

An eclectic, party-hearty 16-track ride coming in mixed and unmixed versions, just in time for those late summer barbecues.

Out: Now (but only since last week)

About: This comes on Orlando, Florida-based Eighth Dimension, who've put out stuff from Q-Burns Abstract Message in the past… as well as a bunch of other people whose names don't begin with Q!

ALBUM Pig & Dan – Decade

Pig & Dan Decade Soma
I always used to say that Pig & Dan were among my favourite techno producers. I don't think I can really say that any more.

Not because I don't like Pig & Dan any more, nor because they've been usurped by some sudden inrush of young pretenders. Just because the boundaries between house and techno have blurred so much in recent years that I'm not sure the 'techno' tag is even relevant anymore. Pig & Dan always were among the 'housiest' of techno producers anyway; now, as they mark ten years in the game with this album – which is actually a new album, rather than the 'best of' you might expect – it'd be a braver man than me that filed them under either heading.

So let's not bother. Instead we'll just say that when it comes to lavishly produced muscular, funk-fuelled dancefloor grooves, low on pretension but high on polish and instantly accessible without resorting to cheap idiot-friendly thrills, few do it better. Chuck in some deeper/more mellow moments such as The Nurse and Insomnia, and one outstanding reggae-vocalled stomper in the form of Breadrin Beats, and you've got an album that I for one know I'll be returning to many times.

Out: Now

About: This is brought to you by the mighty Soma Records, who really don't need any introduction from me! So I'll just steer you to their Facebook and Soundcloud pages instead.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

ALBUM Various – Miami Gangstars

Miami Gangstars Miami Sessions MUR
Okay, after trying to explain the deep, abstract techno of Hakimonu, we're back on more familiar TIWWD territory with this one! Coming from new label Miami Sessions, Miami Gangstars sees a host of largely little-known producers serving up some deep house, tech house and techno grooves for your listening pleasure.

And if that sounds like a bit too much of a hotch-potch, don't worry: the quality standard is high throughout and it is, in fact, the very electicism of this comp that's most appealing. The tracks may vary in style – from, say, the deep/tech house bump of Alex Stein & Moskardi's Like That to the throbbing, dark room techno of Re Dupre & Rod B's, er, Darkroom, or from the jacking tech-house of Mark Drake & Jackie DJ's Fizzy Drink to the disco/funk-fuelled strut of It's All Right by (deep breath) Gabriel Rocca, Victor Ruiz, Vogue and C.L.A.S.S – but the album as a whole sits together remarkably well. It's like a well-programmed DJ set, only in unmixed format.

Which means that whatever micro-genre of house and techno music you're most into, you should find plenty of material for your head-nodding and toe-tapping antics here, at the very least… and almost certainly a few gems that'll have you up on your feet as well.

Out: Now, but only since 25 July. I've been a bit slack on the albums front lately so I'm trying to catch up a bit!

About: Although Miami Sessions is itself a brand new label, this being MS001, it's actually an offshoot of the more established MUR Music… which is itself an offshoot of net radio station/podcast provider Miami Underground Movement.

ALBUMS Hakimonu - Cadences & Frameworks/Worlds Are Born Again

A two-for-one deal here, cos what we have here are TWO recent albums by Israeli producer Hakimonu – something of a mystery man who started out producing trance but has moved in recent years into progressive house, techno and minimal territories.

The first of the two, Cadences & Frameworks, bears the sub-title 'Techno Sketches', which is indeed a pretty accurate description of the sounds contained within. The emphasis is on abstract, often quite melancholic pieces, almost entirely instrumental (bar one or two brief spoken snippets), with Cadence 10: Move really the only excursion onto the minimal dancefloor. Otherwise, this is an album that calls for late nights, sofas, low lights and possibly a jazz fag or two.

The other album, Worlds Are Born Again, isn't HUGELY dissimilar, but it does boast a couple more floor-friendly tracks, and there's also a greater emphasis on melodic and musical elements as opposed to just rhythms and textures… as befits an album that's not subtitled 'sketches', I guess!

I'm no expert on abstract/arty/downtempo sounds like this, so I'm not gonna try and draw comparisons, but when some laidback yet involving listening is required, reaching for either of these albums wouldn't be a bad move by any means. If forced at gunpoint to pick a winner it'd be Cadences… I think, but it's a close run thing.

Out: Now… one of 'em came out late June, the other late July, but your idiot of a reviewer can't remember which way round it was. 

About: Worlds Are Born Again comes to you via Berlin-based label Sleep Is Commercial, while as far as I can make out Cadences… is self-released, so here's Hakimonu's Soundcloud and MySpace pages. Check the latter and you'll see that Cadences… did also come out some time back but don't worry, it's not me being blonde, it's just that it's never had a proper 'push' until now.