Review: The Finale Sessions Select series finds Michael Zucker steering his label into new, techy pastures with a host of esteemed guests on board. For this fourth round, he's called upon Kai Alce and Reggie Dokes to stand alongside him in demonstrating exactly what's great about contemporary house and techno. Alce is up first with "Scene 2", bringing a bubbly, sleek confection of machine soul to the table. Zucker gets things rolling along steady with the heady trip of "Summer Time", and then Reggie Dokes sends the record drifting off on a wonderfully crooked tip with "Running".
Review: AntiDEEPressant is a new label that kicks off with a strong cast of contenders exploring interesting facets of the deep house tradition, starting off with the sultry wonder of Lola Allen's "Karma". There's mystery woven in between the African percussion that shapes out her track, and it's a pleasure to get lost in. Millie & Hirsch take a tender approach to Roland D Clark's classic "I Get Deep", while Mateo & Matos push the tempo back up with the jazz-tinged "Idris Rises." Vincent Inc is last on the list, and he cruises in with the slow and strange tones of "Tears Of God".
Review: Finale Sessions welcomes Anaxander to join label main man Michael Zucker for another one of those impeccable trips through top shelf deep house. Anaxander gets busy with "Stabs Of Love", a truly ear nagging piece that cuts through the glut of soundalike productions to say something truly special. Meanwhile his "Heart 2 Heart" resides on the B2, presenting a lighter, more playful cut peppered with pattering bongos and sprightly keys. Zucker gets into a slightly off kilter funk on "Greater Is He" before dropping into a perfect bump on "Lost Without You", putting some swing into dub house and making it sound natural.
Review: Crew love is true love: Beste Freunde 05 is upon us and it's not likely to hang around. Once again it's a whole new collective of like-minded souls together for a fresh expedition. Anil Aras leads the mission with a rippling Detroitian understated number simply called "Track 1". He's flanked by Paolo Rocco and Moises. The former ups the temperature and gets us in a lather with the insistent pace of "Ill" while the latter sooths our souls and oils our joints with the slippery hypnosis session "Easy Beauty". Finally Esposito & Nadje run point with the heaviest tool of the trip - the bubbling technoid "HBP". Friends till the end!
Review: Proper deepness yet again from Italian imprint Rebirth, with volume two of their limited series which features a new one by Greek house hero Argy. His track kicks off the A side titled "Let's Play" and features the evocative vocals of Blue Jay over his hypnotic and soulful epic - it's the same kind of dancefloor drama that's earned him releases on Ibadan, Versatile and Bedrock over the years. This is followed by the emotive and sensual remix of Modular Projects "Leaving" by German Acid Pauli, which gets a stellar groove injection of the deeper kind. Finally there's some properly soulful and sunkissed 'hands in the air' vibes on the electric remix of Lele Sacchi's "Dreaming Won't Do" by Tiger & Woods.
Review: Vinyl Only reach their seventh release with a fresh grip of lesser known producers bringing high grade grooves to the table. Bubbadog opens the 12" up in a woozy fashion with the warbling piano chords of "Goin' Round", capturing a time-slip mood that carries through to the dusty jazz soaked beat down of Minus The Majors' "Strole On Through". On the B-side, Alex Zuiev gets into an exotic, chiming, 80s-inflected mood on "Down By The River", creating a slow-burning dancefloor heater out of classic ingredients. Ugly Frankie finishes the EP off with the stripped down funk of "Your Ears Look Great".
Review: Miles Sagnia's British bastion of deepness, AER, returns with the LIFE EP, which sees the label foray into fresh territory. Tokyo's Tomi Chair opens proceedings with a sharp piece of deep techno called "Sunstroke" which is as uplifting as it is tough. Si Tappenden appears next under the newly established Ourra alias, contributing the dawn acid driver "Marine Morning" which is an inspired piece of dancefloor poetry. Finally rounding off the Ep is Miles Sagnia's 'Elements'. After years of experience as one of the UK's finest underground DJs, Sagnia is on point once again. A beautifully emotive track, that pulls on the heart strings and exhibits a serene gentility that works alongside the rhythm.
Yoshiko Okabe - "Tree 4" (Yamuraka club mix) (6:54)
Review: House Running are back with another of their signature compilation 12"s, calling on a host of talented producers keeping the house dream alive. Paris-based producer Colkin is bringing nothing but good vibes on piano chopping, lately bass-ing burner "Central 13". He also gets a second look in with "Gonna Be", which features none other than Detroit breakthrough star Javonntte on impossibly powerful vocals. On the flip, Meemo is on hand with the spaced out funk of "Untitled" while Yoshiko Okabe's "Tree 4" gets a 90s-style, club-ready re-rub from Yamuraka. If you're looking for high grade deep house music, look no further.
All You Need Is House (Milty Evans Whitebeard mix)
All You Need Is House (Ty'z classic dub)
Review: Tyree Cooper's All You Need Is House EP is a proud celebration of the genre, done Chicago style and rammed home by Marco's wailing vocals. Through solid drums and strong vocal hooks, Cooper's original beats down hard justifying the need for a 180g pressing. It rattles and hums until dropping into a tom-drum and snare solo similar to Runaway's "Brooklyn Club Jam". Bobby Starr's mix brings Marco's Teddy Pendergrass-sung vocals to the fore, while Milty Evans gets a little techier with a cut up approach, adding white noise flashes and lots of filterwerk. Cooper second take comes via a "classic dub" which draws a link between squelchy baile funk and a Masters At Work drum track.
Review: After a short break in releases, Plastik People are back with the third installment of the Various People. We see label owner Marc Cotterell up first with his slice of 90's house music, incorperating slick grooves and catchy cut up vocals, along side mark on side A, a new addition to the Plastik People family from london, Charles Caliber, who graces the EP with a stunning soulful house groove called Moving On. On the flip side NYC artist Doug Gomez brings us a classic sounding, deep head nodding track which was originally releases on Frole records and we loved it so much that we decided it needed a vinyl releases, to round off the release, we are very pleased to have Mikki Funk back on Plastik People. he delivers us a splendid cut of UK garage, Mikki Funk has also previously released on RM Records and Music IS Love.
Giovanni Damico - "No Al Maltrattamento Dei Samples" (5:29)
Pascal Viscardi - "La Ragazza Del Lago" (6:19)
Marcello Napoletano - "Insignami" (6:55)
Lucretio - "I Piu Piccoli" (6:33)
Christian Lisco - "55" (5:02)
Paolo - "Pericolo" (5:20)
Bassa Clan - "Notte Brava" (6:57)
Fede Lng - "La Volpe" (4:58)
Review: According to La Chinerie themselves. after repping their dear home of France on the first volume, they are 'this time enlightening Italy's house scene through an eclectic V/A gathering eight tracks from eight talented macaronis.' Southern Italy represents in the form of Salerno's Giovanni Damico with the funky and dusty soul heaven of "No Al Maltrattamento Dei Samples" while Lecce's finest Marcello Napoletano delivers the goods as always on the gritty house shenanigans of "Insignami". Elsewhere, there's Restoration's Lucretio (via Berlin of course) delivering some muscular, hardware oriented grooves on "I Piu Piccoli" while the north of The Beautiful Country represents too, rest assured, in the from of Bologna's Bassa Clan with the bouncy and swinging NYC circa '94 vibe of "Notte Brava".
Dance With Me (Malik & Javonntte Side By Side dub) (7:50)
Dance With Me (Andy Compton Bristol mix) (8:22)
Dance With Me (Andy Compton dub) (6:18)
Review: When David Armin-Parcells (aka Lafleur) first opened MotorCity Wine back in 2009, it quickly established itself as a premier underground spot for both house and disco deejays as well as the city's prolific jazz artists. Fast forward 8 years and the venue is thriving as one of Detroit's go-to venues, boasting an excessively high quality line up of both house and jazz residents, from Monty Luke and Rick Wilhite, to OG funk brother Dennis Coffey and Ian Finkelstein, to Shigeto and Underground Resistance, to the Hughes/Smith Quintet and B. Williams, to Norm Talley & Carl Craig. After a 3 year residency at MotorCity Wine, Lafleur tapped in Peter Croce of Rocksteady Disco to make the venue's mark outside of the city with a label, highlighting the half house half jazz sound that makes the venue great.
Review: The E-Beamz label recently debuted with a fine 12" of jungle-influenced haziness from Tim Shug and DJ Playstation. Here, they swiftly move on to EP number two, showcasing tracks from debutants DJ Boring and Magma. The former's A-side cut, "Winona" - so called because it utilizes vocal samples from an interview with actress Winona Ryder - sounds like a long-lost early '90s cut: an ultra-deep treat full of deep space chords, analogue deep house beats and psychedelic TB-303 abuse. Magma's dustier flipside cut, "You", explores similar old skool pastures, making use of both barnstorming techno drums and sweaty jungle breaks. Throw in ridiculously deep chords and riffs, and some eyes-closed vocal samples, and you have another late night winner.
Review: Super Tuff is a relatively new concern hailing from Brooklyn, committed to presenting a broad range of talent from the more curious corners of the house spectrum. On this third release we're introduced to the delightful sound of DJ Heure, who unfurls wonderful pattering percussion, jazzy notes and a mellow, ambient finish to pull at the heartstrings. There's a slightly more forthright thump to Hot Coffee's "On The Verge", but it's still a dusky twist on the typical deep house formula. Label boss M. Vaughan brings things a little more upfront on "Man 2 Man", and top-drawer German producer Tilman weaves a rich and invigorating tale with his swooning "A Day To Remember".
Review: Maltese deep house dude Melchior Sultana becomes the latest addition to Jus-Ed's bulging list of collaborators, which also includes Levon Vincent, Fred P, Nina Kraviz, DJ Qu, Move D, Mr G, Lawrence and Son of Sound. The resultant jams are sweet, sticky and undeniably Moorish. Check, for example, the shuffling Afro-house beats, sumptuous electric piano solos, leisurely jazz guitars and spoken word vocals of "Choices", the piano and synth-bass driven breeziness of "Outside" and the classic deep house warmth of closing cut "Press It". "Now Scat", an ultra-deep, acid-flecked treat, is also top notch.
Review: The latest release on Nicetraxuk sees Danny Ward share wax space with JCub under his Dubble D alias. Ward is best known as Moodymanc, a long-standing figure in the UK house scene, and he's on especially strong form with "Evans Above," where gorgeous strings and meandering live bass cascade around a journeying beat in mesmerising fashion. For those wanting the same musical delights but in a more club ready format, the subtly fired-up "Club Dub" on the flip should be just the ticket. Meanwhile JCub's "Mestizo Beats" reappears after an outing on the last Nicetraxuk release, this time remixed by deeper-than-deep stalwart Tony Lionni with scintillating results.
War and Peace (Luke Solomon's Love and Death re-make) (7:18)
Review: Well Cut Records return with another deluxe vinyl release with Dubble D presenting under his irrepressable "Moodymanc" monniker. Side A opens with "Comfort Me", a deep and gritty sounding soulful jam, followed by a 're-touch' of "War and Peace", a deep and dirty disco dance floor monster which has done serious damage in the past. Luke Solomun opens side B with his "Love and Death re-make", toughening up the drums and adding some analogue twists to take the energy levels up to the point of frenzy! The record closes with "Hashtag", a no nonsense, tough Chicago inspired groove which plays backdrop to a conversation between Snoop Dog and G Unit about the music game today which we thought said a lot about the state of play in House music today! A "beatapella" is an addition to the digital version of the release for those DJs who want to get more creative with the message!
Review: The 4th and final part of Hudd Traxx 10th Anniversary series comes from Ekkohaus, Mihai Popoviciu, Rio Padice & JT Donaldson. Previous parts featured tracks from the likes of Chez Damier, Agnes, Iron Curtis & Luna City Express. Part 4 keeps the high standards that Hudd have set and Ekkohaus steps up to open proceedings. 'Modest Fun' is a peak time house cut with a big sub bass, shuffling hats and lush keys to boot. Mihai Popoviciu's 'Two Minutes Ago' plays a hypnotic Xylophone hook mixed with the dreamy vocal chant of 'Don't stop, let's go' to round off the 'Now' side in a classy fashion. Rio Padice & JT Donaldson close out the EP on the 'Then' side being 2 of the label's biggest sellers to date. Hudd Traxx have been swamped with requests for a repress of Rio Padice's 'Dirty Belvedere' so it was a no brainer for this to make the cut. JT Donaldson's 'Just Bounce' was played by any DJ worth their salt in 2009, and it's clear to see why, as once you've listened once, it goes on repeat a good few times. A great way to close out this 4 Part 10th Anniversary series.
Review: The latest joint on Verdant comes from an exciting new collaboration between ESB (previously spotted on Echovolt, Leftroom and Heart To Heart) and Mihail Petrovski of Distant Worlds and Seventh Sign. This is classically informed machine soul as you would expect on Verdant, kicking off with the expressive deep techno stomp of "Subliminal Wave". "Phayse Distance" edges things towards the stratosphere with a staggered groove, plenty of cosmic acid tweaking and airy pads, and "Memory Upgrade" floats in a bath of mellow chords and submerged drums. "Permission To Dream" cools things down even more, ending the record on a particularly mellow note that B12 would be proud of.
Review: Hailing from France but now based in Tokyo, Jazzy Couscous is a label that explores all kinds of sounds pivoting around the axis of jazz and deep house, but keeping things wide open for variety and experimentation. Following releases from Brawther, Klodio and more besides, it's time for a hefty various artists release that shows off a whole heap of talent. Matthieu Faubourg keeps thing pumping and Detroit-flavoured on "A Long Way", while Drezb smooths things out to a Chez Damier-influenced deep house groove. Pascal Viscardi gets things properly jacking on the deep-diving "Digital Illusion", and then the record closes out with the blissful ambient excursion of Midori featuring Victor Santoni's "Distance".
Review: STRICTR Records is a brand new imprint from Aix-En-Provence in France. This is the label's debut outing, and contains four alluring tracks for discerning deep house DJs. Matthieu Fauborg's epic opener - the tactile, melodious, dreamy and life-affirming "Please Stay", which more than justifies its 10-minute duration - feels like a statement of intent, while Dub Striker's "Mood" recalls classic New York and New Jersey bumpers of old. On the flip, Harrison BDP gets busy with Syclops style synth bass, floatation tank chords and shuffling percussion on "Decompression", before Manooz goes ultra-deep on the dusty and woozy "Tinted Windows". A very fine debut, all told.