Ed Ed & Petja Virikko - "Sundroina" (feat Jinadu - Jimi Jules remix) (7:18)
Review: Zurich based DJ and producer Jimi Jules is one of the most promising upcoming artists within the international underground. With previous releases on top labels like Superfriends, Cocoon and local imprint Zukunft - he tops all that by being picked as selector for esteemed Berlin institution Watergate's 24th mix album. Here we get treated to a few exclusives from the mix on special vinyl format: on the first side we have Jules & Jesaya's +4 BPM Update of Ame's "119 BPM", there's also his collaboration with Domenico Ferrari on the sleazy lo-slung pop of "Parkuhr". On the flip, we soon discover its almost entirely a Jimi Jules affair (naturlich!) with his remix of Swiss/German duo Egopusher's "Flake" (venturing into truly sublime territory) and the dreamy and bittersweet tones of Ed Ed & Petja Virikko's "Sundroina" (feat Jinadu).
Raw District - "Another Way" (feat Alice Rose) (7:43)
Siopis - "Be Mine" (feat Ellbee Bad) (6:35)
Review: A four track vinyl sampler of the new compilation series from Crosstown Rebels, Label founder Damian Lazarus introduces us to Spirits. He has compiled what he describes as 'a fresh psychedelic journey into the mind', aiming to bring together a collection of new artists from both his imprints. Gruuv head honchos from Leeds Audiojack deliver the goods (as always!) on the rolling tribal tech house of "Reverie", while Bristolian rising star Dubspeeka serves up a slow-burning and hypnotic journey aimed at the mind (as much as it is for the feet!) on "Lyssa". On the flip, Belgian duo Raw District team up with the amazing Alice Rose on vocals for the Afro inspired rain dance that is "Another Way" while Berlin's Jannis Siopis delivers something a bit more powerful to lead into the peak time on the druggy and strobe-lit darkroom dub of "Be Mine" featuring Elbee Bad.
Review: From the label: When trends in music can come and go in the blink of an eye, ten years is a long time to stay relevant, passionate and real on the frontline. From its roots in the Parisian club scene by way of its spiritual home at Fuse in Brussels and so on to the globe-trotting, multi-faceted entity that it is today, Lessizmore is living proof of how to do a decade right. The fundamental heartbeat of this European house and techno institution is the maverick music that its affiliated artists make. Of course what the label sounds like now is not necessarily what the label sounded like back in 2006, but it's telling that some of the original characters are still with the label to this day, while many are long time members of the LIZM family that have joined the ranks over the years. In piecing together this compilation, the idea from label founders Jessica Bossuyt and Pierre Noisiez was simply to represent where their brainchild is at right now, from guests at their events in the early days to more recent collaborators of all kinds. Kicking off the first EP, the finest slithers of percussion and whispers of icy soul weave their way into the sublime, sprawling concoction that Birdsmakingmachine delivers, shifting drum sounds across eleven minutes of delicate yet irresistible groove. Meanwhile on the B-side long time champion of future-minded dub techno Deadbeat creates something of an anthem for the label, turning out an energised workout laden with psychedelic swirls of delay and embellished with a catchy vocoder hook. Recent Lessizmore signing Louis McGuire delves into his lowslung MPC-powered bag of tricks and drops another crucial slab of swinging funk that finds the up and coming artist turning to a moodier sound palette customized for the deepest corners of the night.
Review: Crisp Recordings is a record label and production company founded by legend DJ Ra-Soul and Chicago by way of Memphis' Don Crisp. Black in Time is the moniker used by the pair which has resulted in three previous collaborative releases on the label, and they're back with the fourth after a long hiatus. Now they present the politically charged "Democracy Is Hypocrisy" with its powerful narrative fuelled by a groovy minimal acid arrangement. Comes with a handy instrumental version on the flip, in addition to a rough and ready acid dub that's perfect for getting weird at the afterhours. Much crossover appeal anticipated on this little treasure -tip!
Review: Benjamin Brunn and Dave Wheels are old studio buddies, having worked together on and off since 2006. "2000", though, is their most ambitious joint project yet: a collaborative album for Sushitech that offers up breezy, melodious and cheery fusions of heady dub techno, gentle electronica, chugging sofa-friendly haziness and glitchy late night hypnotism. It's an interesting blend but one that certainly hits the spot. Highlights include the horizontal pulse of "Orainge", the wonderfully hypnotic after-hours throb of "Iratamoto (Version)", the bold and sun-kissed undulations of "In The Club" and the pie-eyed warmth of "Waldeck".
Review: On the A1 Chekov follows up their moves on Peach Discs and Timedance with a proper peak timer, they've been described by Ben UFO as 'king of the build up' and that's evident on this one. At the A2 London's Doppelate makes their Cong Burn debut with an elegant tech-house roller. Fresh from Russia's underground is Camin, on this, his debut 12" release he drops a useful tool which squeezes between electro and techno. Cong Burn founder Howes closes the B side with some warm hypnosis that could have landed in the golden era of Workshop.
Review: Cong Burn continues to exercise one of the most promising instincts for future-minded music on this, their third release. It's surprising they haven't done more previously, considering the maturity of their curation, but either way the quality remains at an all time high here, leading in with some light and liquefied 4/4 sonics from Chekov before pirouetting into one of Duckett's illustrious abstractions around the techno blueprint. Label regular Lack is back on side B with the stern and punchy "Track 3," and then Haddon finishes the record off with "Anabiosis," a densely textured, slow creeping trip of a 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.
Cody Currie - "ACE, At The Point Of Collapse" (5:14)
Sebb Junior - "Greatest Feelings" (5:54)
Demuir - "Let's Get In It" (7:16)
Black Loops - "French Affair" (6:24)
Hotmood - "Voyage To The Onda" (6:41)
COEO - "Azzurro" (7:37)
Review: The team behind upstart imprint De La Groove has done a fine job on this compilation style extravaganza, which features tracks from an impressive selection of hotly tipped producers. Highlights include the bouncy, shirts-off loop-disco of Cody Currie's "ACE, At The Point of Collapse", the super-groovy, jazz-flecked deep house warmth of Demuir's "Let's Get In It", the effervescent sweetness of Black Loops' summery roller "French Affair", and the fluttering flute solos of Hotmood's goodtime jazz-funk revision "Voyage To The Onda". The purest expression of jazzy, smoky deep house is provided by COEO, whose clarinet-sporting "Azzurro" is probably our pick of a very strong bunch.
Review: A second edition of the Various Artists Backpack EP, from French house label D3 Elements pulls together some key producers; Detroit soulful house star Terrence Parker is back once again, and joined by D-Knox, Dan Curtin and TechElectro. Curtin gets the ball rolling with "House Spirits," a summery, feel good house roller with trilling keys and organic chords all making for a jazzy vibe. Then comes a more synthetic and abstract cut, "Stars That Never Die", from TechElectro aka the fearsome American techno duo of Solid Gold Playaz, who also release as Dark Matrix. On the flip side, D-Knox aka Groove Man offers "Summer Beach Time," a cool as you like track with breezy chords, radiant pads and wooden sounding percussion flapping along next to the drums. Then it is down to Terrence Parker to close with the laid back, deep and soothing "So Beautiful," a sweet as you like house jam with magic chords and plenty of heart warming grooves.
Review: Manchester label Natural Sciences launches its new sub label Dolphin Traxx with a sterling effort by Durham-based D. Futers. As the label best describe themselves it's "a pounding two tracker of aqueous goo, molecular body deposits and corrosive laser stains, pressed up loud + harddd (sic)." On the A side we have "I Care" which is a gorgeous serving of feelgood classic house reminiscent of classic Strictly Rhythm or King Street with its pitched up vocals and uplifting pianos over a soulful groove. There is a bit of a curveball on the B side with the liquid junglist roller "Never Givin' Up" which likewise is brazen in its retroverted style tributes; think early Peshay or Alex Reece.
Review: D'Marc Cantu's 2017 LP The Lodge was a high point for the ever prolific US producer, not to mention a jewel in Altered Moods' many-pronged crown. Now the label are revisiting one of the album highlights, "S.E.G," giving the punchy Chicago house jam another pressing before handing the reins over to a strong cast of remixers. The one and only Larry Heard plunges "S.E.G" into gorgeous, mystical realms of deep house spirituality like only he can, while Altered Moods boss Malcom Moore injects a different kind of spaced out energy to the track. Then Chicago Skyway finishes the package off with a distinctive version that reaches for a light and airy headspace while keeping the drums punchy and effective.
Review: D'Marc Cantu is a don when it comes to warm, rich synth-laden house and techno, with a sprinkling of electro sprinkled over his approach for good measure. Now he comes to Altered Moods with an album that finds him in a particularly mellow mood, not least on sultry opener "Always On My Mind". There's space for experimentation, as the offbeat snare patter of "Blanket Statement" demonstrates, but by and large this is all about undulating house delights. "Mozaic" is a particular highlight with its captivating synth design and dreamy demeanour, while "SteamFunk" revels in skippy broken beats that flirt with twinkling leads and lashings of delayed bass. Plenty varied but consistent in tone, this is a damn fine album from a seasoned pro.
Review: Just when you think Pepe Bradock can't take us to new plains, along comes a new alias with a new vision. Raw futuristic jazz is the theme (as is often the case with Pepe) as we're eased in nicely with harmonic broken shuffles of "Willplayasong4u" before being plunged into trippy data chirps on "KM Zero" and square-pushing oddities on "@#$*?! Square Tones". We come out the other side learned and woken the jitterbug, sample-heavy psychedelic bump-funk of "Pepe XXX". 24th century business.