Review: Gerd Janson and Maurice Fulton continue their mutually beneficial partnership with this Running Back 12" edition of DJ Nori's wonderful Bubbletease debut We Don't Know. Originally released digitally earlier this summer, Nori's four tracks were co-produced by Fulton and, as with anything that blessed with Maurice's touch, are predictably excellent. There's a touch of melancholic, acid-flecked stargazing in the shape of "Spaceg" (all heady synth melodies, fuzzy bass and 808 cowbells), some out-there, beatless space calypso (the unwieldy "We Don't Know"), and a mighty chunk of Syclops-ish wonk-jack ("80s Drugs"). Oh, and a moody, Detroit-influenced Fulton remix of "Happy Sunday" that breaks into a space disco jam near the end.
Review: Thanks to a string of fine disco and gospel-fired releases and remixes for the likes of Midnight Riot and Lumberjacks in Hell, Alan Dixon has become a must-check artist. Here he makes his bow on Running Back with arguably his most arresting and inspired EP to date. The real star of the show is co-producer Darren Morris (a regular Ashley Beedle collaborator), whose dazzling solos surge from the speakers on the driving, 1989 style piano house rush of "Moments" (reminiscent of his work on Beedle's peerless remix of Bent's "Always" in the early 2000s) and the Balearic house brilliance of "Star Dance" (think Phillip Lauer/Tuff City Kids). The fun continues on muscular, Italo-disco influenced opener "La Danza" and the colourful, sunrise-ready soundscape "Ambient Braindisk".
Review: Back In The Day marks the second appearance from Local Talk regulars Dirtytwo on J Kriv and Aaron Dae's Razor 'N' Tape imprint. Like their last outing, Back In The Day sees them offering up an impressive blend of bumpin' house and filter-heavy re-edits with a heavy emphasis on party starting. While the murky, basement-bothering title track, and Daniel Leeseman's baggier, disco-house rework, are impressive, it's the EP's other two tracks that are really floating our boat. Check, in particular, the string-laden, bass-heavy sleaze of "Last Night", which boasts a spine-tingling breakdown and some decidedly sweaty female vocals. That said, the slower "Estrelar" - a chopped-up, looped, filter-fiddling rework of the Marcos Valle track of the same name - is also rather fine.
DaM-FunK - "Believer" (Fingers deep funk remix) (8:40)
Nite-Funk - "Can U Read Me?" (3:38)
Review: Damon Garrett Riddick offered a fine addition to the DJ Kicks canon with his 19 track DaM-Funk selection earlier this and in time honoured tradition his exclusive contribution gets a vinyl release backed with a rather special remix. In a nod to his cache and love of classic deep house, Riddick has coaxed a Mr Fingers remix out of Larry Heard resulting in a sublime take on "Believer" that would have gone down a treat at Broken Beat haven Co-Op back in the day. Instead of the original version of "Believer," the flip features another Riddick original from the DJ Kicks mix - his killer Nite Funk collaboration with fellow LA synthesizer enthusiast Nite Jewel.
Review: Breakthrough release for Durerstuben here, as the Berlin based pair of David Hofmann and Till Gerloff make good on the promise shown via a stream of intermittent 12"s in the past few years with a debut on Koze's Pampa label. One listen to the three tracks on Street of Rane will likely have many checking Discogs for the availability of Hoffmann and Gerloff's previous work as Durerstuben; such is the instantly gratifying nature of their rich, vivid take on European deep house. Metro Area, Zapp and Tensnake are offered as potential reference points by the Pampa press release machine and it's hard to disagree with final track "Freiherr in der Wall" a particular speaker box laden delight.
Review: Amygdala, the forthcoming LP from DJ Koze holds the dual title of being one of this year's most keenly awaited long players as well as the album with the most bizarre cover art. Quite why the producer is riding a reindeer hasn't been made clear yet, but this two track 12" does clue us in to to the possibility the album will hold up to such high expectations. "La Duquesa" is one of the few tracks on Amygdala not to feature a collaborator and stripped bare of any outside distractions finds Koze on sublime form; equal parts tender, refined, casual, serious, deep and euphoric. When those strings hit is a joy to behold. In contrast "Burn With Me" is dark, druggy, delicious and decadent.
Review: Pampa has called in the big guns for on this second installment of the DJ Koze Amygdala Remixes series, with Roman Flugel and Robag Wruhme providing two typically intoxicating revisions. Flugel steps up first, delivering a dreamy, lucid and melodic take on "Amygdala" built around restless cymbals and liquid house rhythms. While hardly tropical, the melodies and chords certainly doff a cap to classic 1980s new age recordings. Wruhme reworks "Nices Wolkchen", delivering a typically loose, atmospheric and engaging tech-house interpretation that seems to float from the speakers. It makes an already beautiful track almost implausibly wide-eyed.
Review: Ex-resident Tresor DJ Dave DK and new name Ricoshei provide Pampa Recordings with their first release of the year. First up is the poppy "Perfect Like You", which would feel right at home on Kompakt thanks to its similarities to Superpitcher's "Joanna". On the B-side is the track "Woolloomooloo", which takes its name from a harbourside suburb in Sydney that's home to famous Australians like Russell Crowe and ex-Manchester United goal keeper Mark Bosnich. Nevertheless, the track itself is a moody and phosphorescent, almost ambient, excursion through synthy textures and uplifting vibes.
Review: Mike Dehnert's sublime output has been largely restricted to his own Fachwerk label over the last eight years, so it's surprisingly refreshing to see him branch out to other contemporary labels. His native Pampa imprint seems like the perfect place for his stripped-back shades of house music, and "How Close To Be", with its driving, fuzzed-out bassline makes for the perfect accompaniment to the tune's brooding vocal samples. On the B-side, "Me Too" is lo-fi in very sense of the word, once again dropping on a layer of eerie yet sentimental voices to take the track from odd to the utterly bizarre. In our eyes, that is a good thing...
Review: When it comes to crafting lengthy, disco fired dancefloor treats, DJ Koze has previous form. His "Extended Disco Version" of Lapsley's "Operator" quickly became a White Isle anthem in the summer of 2016, and we fully expect "Pick Up" to be one of the disco-house hits of 2018. Based around spine-tingling samples from a heart-felt, orchestrated 1970s disco treat - think Tom Trago's "Use Me Again", and you're close - the veteran producer slowly builds the pressure before really letting loose in the closing stages. B-side "The Love Truck" is an altogether deeper, dubbier and dreamier affair, seemingly designed for leisurely warm-up sets and gentle, early morning shuffling.
Review: **REPRESS**The last time a newcomer graced Theo Parrish's Sound Signature, it resulted in widespread praise for the Flowers EP from London based producer, DJ and singer Andrew Ashong, somehow we get the feeling this latest release on the label will prove to be as memorable. The Scorpio Rising EP sees Parrish look much closer to home and grant the DC-born, Detroit-bred producer Jay Daniel his debut release and the four track 12" more than lives up to his billing as one of Boiler Room's most exciting new discoveries at DEMF. Wild Oats obsessives will probably know Daniel from the Fundamentals residency shared with Kyle Hall and he's clearly spent some time honing his Detroit influenced craft, with cuts like "No Love Lost" expertly balanced between melody and rugged drum grit. "Brainz" is the kind of no-nonsense DJ tool you might have heard on a FXHE B Side circa 2008 whilst "I Have No Name" demonstrates Daniel is eminently capable of the sort of hope inducing Utopian house from the D that the much missed Aaron Carl was renowned for.
Review: Dego and Kaidi on Sound Signature whut???? Here's a partnership that makes perfect sense! The West London legends bring their signature blend of soul and brukked up grit to Theo Parrish's label across three stellar cuts resulting in a 12" that will remain long in the box. Lead track "Adam Rock Dissed" sets the tone, gliding out of the grooves with impeccably placed drums snapping away loosely as Kaidi lets loose with his magical fingers on keys. Next up, "Moths In Wallets" rolls forward and fat on a lazy breakbeat with the vibe enhanced by the low bass rumble and rich, rich keys. This might be our favourite cut on the 12" though B-side production "Backchat for Toprock" runs it close. Live drums get ripped up hard, rocking to their own broken step as Dego and Kaidi slowly tease out some heart wrenching chords amidst a flurry of heavy piano. The masters are in session, pay attention!
Review: In his usual no-nonsense fashion, Theo Parrish has not said much about the surprise release of Gentrified Love Part 2, despite it being his first fresh material since 2014. The EP features contributions from two of the Detroit's legends oldest friends: Rotating Assembly member Duminie DePorres, and original Slum Village member Waajeed. A-side "Warrior Code" is a quietly foreboding proposition, with spiraling electronics, jammed keys and cosmic chords riding a chunky, West London style broken beat groove. Flip for the altogether brighter and breezier "Leave The Funk To Us", a jaunty and jazz-wise 4/4 excursion blessed with some superb, Herbie Hancock style jazz-funk keys.
Review: UK legend Dego and killer keys-man Kaidi Tatham have been in a rich vein of form of late, dropping brilliant EPs on Eglo, Sound Signature and Rush Hour (the latter under their 2000Black alias). Here, they return to Eglo with four more slices of warm, rich, soul-flecked fluidity. As with previous outings, much of the material has a laidback jazz-funk feel, particularly "Orbiting Uhara" and the delicious "The Vault Descends" (think bustling bruk rhythms and darting boogie synths). They also offer up some tougher, synth-laden bruk-funk in the shape of "Man Made", while "Black Is Key" sees them unfurl a head-nodding vocal roller.
Review: Hot on the heels of Clone Classic Cuts' reissue of Survival's "Midnight Dancin" (as part of a 12" compilation of Joe Lewis productions), Groovin has decided to re-release "I Can't Wait". Intriguingly, this edition appears to include two previously unreleased mixes. So, while some Chicago house diggers may already own the Vocal mix - where Daryl Goodlett's slick, soulful vocals rise above an early garage-influenced chunk of disco-tinged vocal deep house - they won't have heard the Instrumental or Dub versions. The latter, a traditional Dub in the mid-to-late-'80s New York style (think key vocal passages, delay-laden beats and judicious use of other key elements), is particularly good.
When You Love Someone (Groove instrumental) (7:55)
When You Love Someone (The Reconstruction mix) (8:18)
Review: The latest on-point reissue from Italy's Groovin' label takes us back to 1993, and the Peter Daou/Danny Tenaglia-produced debut single from vocalist Daphne Rubin-Vega. It's a far breezier, groovier and sweeter record than many of Tenaglia's later productions (which tended towards the muscular), with Rubin-Vega's quietly soulful vocal seemingly drifting across a backing track rich in warm chords and baggy, breakbeat-driven house grooves. All of the various mixes hit the spot, with the trippy, dub-style Reconstruction Mix, vibraphone-laden Groove Instrumental and low-slung Never Do Dub standing out. The Acapella Reprise, which features rich chords and vocal snippets, is also rather good.
Review: Clone is one of the oldest active labels in the game, and DJ Fett Burger has been the most singular soundsmiths in the scene for seemingly as long. This coming together of two giants is another successful one with the Sex Tags co-founder flipping Red Scorpions' "Enjoy This Limousine" into a dubbed out techno roller with jittery snares riding on bleeping electronics. Speckgurtel then tackles "Harpo" with an old school rave energy that is muted yet euphoric, before rounding off with his Drumapella version of "Sonnenambiente", which makes an effective early evening house tool.