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: Whereas the first volume in Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's "Cosmicdelic Africa" series focused on sneaky re-edits by the Sacred Rhythm founder, this second instalment focuses on original productions "for the dancefloor and the head". In other words, Clausell has offered up DJ-friendly extended versions of some of his most cosmic, Afro-centric creations. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the psychedelic rock guitar solos, restless bass, layered Latin house rhythms and rainforest sounds of Cosmic Ritual's "Abraxas (Demo Sketch Mix)", to the piano sporting cosmic house positivity of Mampo's "Emarofo Tech (Extended Sketch Mix)", via the spaced-out electronics, hallucinatory synth lines and sparse drums of intoxicating downtempo workout "Mundo De Agua (Psyxchdelic Transfusion Mix)".
Vincent Inc & Jon Dasilva - "Thinkin About U" (Questionmarq mix) (7:45)
Sasha Makin & Suntetic - "Drumatik" (7:23)
Review: The Manuscript mission rolls on unabated as the Ukranian label pairs long lost deep house gems with more contemporary productions. Slam Mode's "Morning Side Dr" is a gorgeous cut laden with plush synth tones to melt the hardest of dancers, while Dennis DeSantis' "Leisure" feeds touches of EBM into a mellow, dubby construction that spans styles with ease. Label boss Vincent Inc joins up with Jon Da Silva for "Thinkin About U", which Questionmarq turns into a delightfully quirky remix before Sasha Makin and Suntetic round the EP off with the epic "Drumatik".
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: Here, Descendents of The Deep launches the From Chicago To Detroit series, bringing together a quartet of deep house tracks from Michigan and Illinois-based producers. Jordan Fields kicks things off with the electric piano-laden strut of the surprisingly trippy "Excitement", before Vincent Floyd offers up a masterclass in deep, New Jersey-influenced analogue deepness in the shape of "2gether". Flip for the wonderful blissfulness of Leandre's "Images of Spring" - think starry melodies from Detroit, coupled with the rolling swing of Chicago - and "Detroit Dubz", a killer exercise in spooky beatdown from Norm Talley and Mike Huckaby. With its' heavy, compressed bassline, creepy chords and reverb-laden textures, it sounds like it was tailor-made for Halloween.
Karl Hector & Nicolas Tounga - "Ngunga Yeti Fofa" (The Joaquin Joe Claussell Electric Afrika version) (11:36)
Vito & Druzzi - "Night Masquerade" (7:30)
Kapote - "Besamo Fly" (7:03)
Review: There's much to enjoy on the latest volume in Toy Tonics' ongoing hallucinatory house series, regardless of your psychedelic state of mind. The undoubted standout is Joe Clausell's epic version of Karl Hector and Nicolas Tounga's "Ngunga Yeti Fofa", a feverish, dub-flecked deep house interpretation of a track rich in both African and South American vocals and instrumentation. That said, we're also fans of Vito and Druzzi's "Night Masquerade", where Steve Reich style marimba melodies and fizzing synthesizer solos rise about a jaunty, tropical house groove, while Kapote's "Besamo Fly" is a lolloping, mid-tempo romp full of delay-laden African vocal snippets, jaunty Afro-funk horns and sludgy drumbeats.
Review: 124 Recordings know how to put together a deep house compilation, and they're sounding fierce on this latest, appropriately titled Levels Up. The jams come heavy and funky from a range of on-point operators, leading in with Tom Jay's quintessential New Jersey bump n grind on "Hanging On". David Moran is a little more shadowy but no less groovesome, while Nicola Brusegan takes things on a sweet and smooth tip. Across the whole double pack there are classically informed jams to satisfy the most weary deep house heads, but keep an ear out for the old-school flavoured heft of Freak D's "Power Of Bass", which should get some seriously jacking airtime in the right kind of dance.
Review: Steadily building up a prominent identity in the bustling minimal house and techno thoroughfare, The Untold Stories return with one of their signature various artist compilations to present some lesser known practitioners of the hypnotic groove. Jerome C gets a rugged angle on the swing to his beats on "An Intelligible Scrawl", while Volta Cab nods to a classic Tobias jam with "Street Knowledge". MD Wallholz's "Ein Bisschen Ruhe" is a shivering slice of experimental electro, and Jonas Sella brings an unhinged French flavour to proceedings, but truthfully every jam on this solidly packed release has its own distinct character that fits into the meandering tale the label is unfurling.
M&M Vs Andrei Swipe - "Analog Express" (Don Carlos remix) (7:29)
Review: There's an undeniable air of quality that lingers over the 12"s emerging on 14th Level Of Paradise, the mysterious label presenting originals, edits and repressed tracks for true house devotees. First up is a little known track from Sasha Makin and Suntetic, given a shimmering polish by Don Carlos and Steven Perri to become a heavy funking masterpiece, before Joe Claussell drops in a percussive dub delight on Monday Michiru's "Higher". On the flip, Vincent Inc and LA get things pumping with the slow but chunky, jazz-licked "Red Room", before Carlos returns for another deep house reverie as he remixes M&M and Andrei Swipe's "Analog Express".
Review: Four years deep into its disco, beatdown and edit adventures, Smokecloud's status is nigh-on impeccable. Here we find them uniting four of their most creative craftsmen for four straight-up dancefloor pacifiers. Highlights include the sludgy slo-mo Edwin Starr on acid flavoured "Caught Up" and the Diana Ross homage that is the sun-skanked reggae party jam "CC Tribute" by VinylAddicted & SMQ. Instant smiles.
Jeremy Castillo - "Beat Dat" (feat Vin Sol) (4:24)
Review: Unknown To The Unknown spreads its wings with a new sublabel dedicated specifically to jacking house jams for proper white-knuckle party times. Steven BC turns the acid intensity up to 11 with the devastatingly on-point "Flanger Zone", while Mall Grab reaches for a classic bit of disco funk to sample and filter mercilessly. Lawrence Lee meanwhile opts for a playful, budget take on Eastern electro on "Pyongyang Rhythm" before Jeremy Castillo and Vin Sol return to primal Trax Records territory for "Beat Dat". It's a release that marks House Crimes out as a natural descendant from UTTU's irreverent approach to dance music, without compromising on the quality.
Review: It would be fair to say that Release Sustain has put together a particularly hot line-up of production talent on this compilation style EP. Vakula kicks things off with "809", a thrillingly trippy chunk of heads-down house built around a relentless electronic riff and clattering drum machine percussion, before Italian producer Simoncino steals the show with "Laura B (Transimeno Dream Mix)", where haunting flute lines, Larry Heard chords and dusty vocal samples cluster around a heady, analogue-rich groove. On the flip, you'll find a deliciously positive and loved-up chunk of melodious deep house breeziness from veteran Vincent Floyd, and some fuzzy, jammed-out analogue deep house warmth from sometime Royal Oak and We Play House man Reggie Dokes.
Review: New EP from Valentin from Paris on Silver Network imprint ! After SILVER 030 and SILVER 31, Valentin delivers two fantastic tunes on Silver's 41st release. With two fresh remixes from french house maestro FRANCK ROGER, you can't do no wrong.. Stay tuned !
Review: For their fifth release, Japanese label Eureka! presents Pablo Valentino: founder of Faces Records (with Motor City Drum Ensemble) for the "Space Tribe" EP. Kicking off proceedings is Berlin-based Kazuki Yamaguchi on the Detroit Beatdown influenced "Bananas" on which you'll hear the pair emanate plenty of soul and emotion, followed by the blunted urban blues of "Inspiracao" where Valentino goes into a wonderful downbeat hip-hop state of mind. On the flip is the EP's most poignant moment brought by the evocative and bittersweet mood music of the title track featuring British producer Simbad - this one goes ultra deep and we love every minute of it!
My Body (Louie Vega remix/Synth Bass instrumental) (8:58)
My Body (Louie Vega radio version) (3:46)
Review: Luther Vandross originally wrote and recorded "My Body" in 1979, though his version was never released; instead, the song was re-recorded by Stephanie Mills and included on her 1983 album "Merciless". Here we finally get a chance to hear Luther belt it out himself, with Masters At Work man Louie Vega providing production and a dizzying number of remixes. There are two bumpin' and life-affirming "Soul House" mixes (the second replacing Vandross' lead vocal with some mazy Rhodes solos), a fluid and positive "Remix/Synth Bass Mix" that packs plenty of dancefloor energy, and warmer "EOL Mix" and "EOL Dub" versions that utilize a warm bass guitar part and some tasty chord progressions. Throw in a couple of edits and instrumentals and you have a suitably epic set of reworks.
Review: After three various artist releases, Brooklyn label Super Tuff presents its first fully-fledged artist release from label founder M Vaughan. As laid out in the label's manifesto about taking influence from Studio Barnhus, Smallville and Uncanny Valley, the mood on Tenderness EP is delicately melodic and charmingly off-centre, but it still grooves where it counts. "Moon River" is as meandering as its titular body of water, riding on shuffling, organic drums and vibing Rhodes chords. "Turn Around!" is a sample-loaded jam with a lilting, 1940s romanticism about it, and "Tenderness" too tugs at the heartstrings with a lilting, nostalgic approach to harmony. "When It All Happens" is no slouch in the emotional department either, rounding off an astoundingly bucolic record from the heart of NYC.
Review: Jef K's Silver Network springs a surprise on the label's followers with a slightly darker offering than fans may be used to. Part of Jef's ethos is to shake things every once in a while to avoid becoming stale, so he decided to sign this super fresh cut from Ludovic Vendi and Olive_R. 'Nosh' is a fidgety, morose production with unsettling beats and the constant mutter of voices lurking in the background.
Remix pressure comes from Jef's good friend, and owner of the excellent La Vie En Rose label, Terence :Terry: who, together with Spanish wonderkid Hanfry Martinez (Overall Music), drops a bouncing bomb of a track. Meanwhile, Yoshitaca, Japanese producer and boss of amazing label Fasten Musique Concrete, also turns in a dynamite rework full of flavour.
So we have three splendid versions of a track that serves as a perfect example of Silver Network's ability to push its own boundaries. Deep, dark and utterly delectable.
Review: Marcus Worgull and Danilo Plessow's Vermont project saw a couple of house music's most esteemed producers and selectors pursue an alternate musical avenue into ambient/balearic territory. The perfect musical accompaniment to Summertime road trips across the continent or for chilling with friends and loved ones at the beach house or by the campfire. Tracks from the II LP now get the remix treatment by some of the scene's biggest names here. Worgull's close associate and Innervisions boss Dixon is first up and remixes "Dschuna" into an evocative and life-affirming epic, in all its Afro and spiritually influenced glory that you could imagine him playing during one of his acclaimed DJ sets. "Skorbut" receives a shimmering disco-tinged remake by the one and only I:Cube of Versatile Records fame and also on the flip is Wassermann aka Wolfgang Voigt's totally epic Krautramatrik mix of "Paradigma" which takes the track deep into cosmic synth music territory.
Review: Born and raised in Austin, TX, Chris McDowell, most well known for his other moniker Solar Shield, he has released 2 records via label and DJ Collective, Austin Boogie Crew. His first 45 release, "Reesis" sold out within a couple weeks and has been repressed multiple times. His second self-titled 12" record is on it's way to being out of print. His latest project Very Rich is a fun blend of techno and modern boogie. As a virtuoso who is well versed on almost any instrument McDowell utilizes live instrumentation & sequencers to give his sound a unique and organic feel. Sure to move a packed house in any club.
Review: Newcomer Tom Dicicco aka Veyg presents an ear snagging selection of leftfield beatdowns here for adventurous spinners on the fringes of the party. "Mutual Romance" is a quivering, shimmering trip through crooked house beats and crunchy yet dubby synth flourishes to delight the mind. "Virgo Love Affair" has a sweeter lilt, but it's no less wayward in its execution, but then "Filling Pieces" heads into more explicit deep house territory with some blissed out melodic content riding atop a deep diving US-flavoured rhythm section. "How We Live" ramps up the meandering dub processing, with tripped out filter sweeps and panning lending a psychedelic edge to this smoked out joint.
Review: Tom Dicicco is best known for his stern techno output, so it's intriguing to seem him donning a new alias, Veyg, and exploring a new sound palette. As with the last Veyg 12", the tone here is somewhere around the slower tempo, discoid acid end of the spectrum, and he's made the sound his own. "My Sweet Soul" is a dusty affair with squashed drums and looped up bongos rubbing up against trippy globules of lysergic monosynth action. "When They Fall" is a downcast electro track for rainy Sundays, while "These Feelings" waits for the clouds to break and dances on the damp lawn with no shoes on. "West Of The Sun" is the most adventurous offering on the 12", escaping the 4/4 thud and twirling in an off-grid stylee with ample dub FX tugging the melodic parts around in a mellifluous haze of experimentation.
Jack U Whole (Space Dimension Controller 1988 Vibe mix)
Review: If you give Luke Vibert instructions to make an acid banger, chances are he'll come up with the goods. So it proves on Halloween, his second single for Cedric Maison's Hypercolour imprint. The title track is particularly intense, with in-your-face drums and ragged, abusive acid lines brushing shoulders with ghostly melodies, horror chords and dystopian vocal samples. The Cornishman provides a slight breather in the shape of "Jack U Whole", whose bubbling acid lines and murky vocal samples ride an 808 electro-influenced groove. Space Dimension Controller remixes the latter track, dropping a 1988 style acid jacker that sounds like a long lost Trax Records release.