Review: Styrax's alphabetized Specials series reaches its fourth volume (or Styrax I / Styrax J to use the correct parlance) with four typically sumptuous examples of archival house. 154's delightfully fuzzy "Daze" opens proceedings, which will cause much misty eyed reminiscing for anyone who indulged in the 2004 Delsin released album Strike it first appeared on. Alongside it, Damon Lamar's luxuriously paced "Rising Sun" is borrowed from Tetrode Music, its intoxicating swirls of kaleidoscopic textures every bit as potent as when it first surfaced. The flipside tracks are naturally in a similar vein with some 2003 bounciness from Claro Intelecto complemented by "Dat America", Lowtec's 1999 jam for the Playhouse imprint.
Lift Him Up (Ian Friday Tea Party instrumental dub)
Review: New mixes of this classic. Latin tinged piano and spiritual male vocal make for a serious gospel house sound. Ian Friday's mixes kick the energy up a bit for those peak hours, and the Mark Mendoza old skool mix will take you back, stripped down to the track's essence - with added vocals. The original is also worth revisiting, it's still quite a track on it's own.
Review: Jersey's veterans 280 West make a big-time return to Phuture Soul with this powerful three-track EP of soulful, garagey vocal house. "I Never Knew" is classic Jersey, a big-time male vocal with some chunky drums and disco horns blasting away on the hypnotic, catchy soulful groove - the A-side "West" mix is a stormer for the clubs. On the flip you've got a super-fat dub mix and the beatless reprise mix to do some DJing damage with. Fans of DJ Spen and the East Coast sound will be all over this big time release.
Review: 'Paris Texas' comes courtesy of 33Hz. Madly limited quantities of this US import. Great package from the
Dither Down label (Redbud) with killer featuring from Devin The Dude and Teki Latex (of TTC fame). This
12'' comes with remixes by Inflagranti, Gentlemen Driver, Architecture In Helsinki, Curtis Vodka and Max Pask.
Review: The Use of Weapons imprint has mastered the easy to grasp, hard to master formula of matching clutches of (excellent) original tracks from Cottam and label bosses Deep Space Orchestra with well-chosen and even better executed remixes from the likes of Hunee, Neville Watson and Marcello Napoletano. The fourth release sees a change in tack, with the label opting to focus on original material from 6th Borough Project, Haku, Andy Ash and of course Deep Space Orchestra. Graeme The Revenge Clark and Craig Smith kick off proceedings with the suitable thick set slow burning "Estranged Lover", though it's "Rugo" by Haku that impresses most. The new project of Deep Space Orchestra's Chris Barker, the track is a superb kaleidoscopic concoction of fizzing uptempo live percussion, synths and drum machines that has more than a touch of the Carl Craigs about it. Andy Ash switches proceedings back to chunky mutant discoid dirt with the heads down, tops off vibes of "Somehow" while the Deep Space Orchestra head for the expanses of future tech jazz with the ten minute odyssey "Erase Everything".