Cody Currie - "As Of Yet" (feat Joel Holmes) (5:09)
Grant Nelson - "In The Dark" (5:59)
Pontchartrain - "Don't Change It Up" (5:43)
Goddard - "Almasti" (6:11)
Review: With such a star-studded line-up of old and new talent involved, it's little surprise to find that De La Groove's fourth vinyl release is seriously good. It's that good, in fact, that there's no space to go into each and every highlight. Instead, we'll point you in the direction of some of our personal favourites. Check first the breezy and soulful US garage revivalism of Art of Tones' impeccable "So Sweet", before turning your attention to the dreamy, vibraphone-laden deep house sexiness of Cody Currie's "As of Yet (featuring Joel Holmes)". Grant Nelson's "In The Dark" is a fine slab of late '90s style UK garage, while Goddard's "Almasti" sounds like a nu-disco era riff on Pepe Bradock deep house classic "Deep Burnt".
Review: FXHE bloodline member Big Strick continues to excel on his own 7 Days Ent. label, dropping his first 12" of 2012 which has a nice community feel to proceedings. Alpha & Omega introduces us to Generation Next, a rising 16 year old talent from the streets of Detroit who contributes alongside Mr Strickland to all three tracks here. Stylistically, the three tracks here seem equally indebted to Juan Atkins pure techno endeavours as Infiniti and the sub aqueous grooves of Drexciya, not least the restrained title track which shimmers from the murky depths into a finely crafted liquid groove imbued with bubbling elatory Utopian textures. On the flip "Origin" ripples with pressure, its rhythmic elements grappling for your attention as the space between them decreases with Strick and Gen Next expertly layering texture upon texture. A masterful 12" shaped exercise in modern day Detroit sounds is completed with the devious electrofied snap of "Bloodline".
Review: Leonard "Big Strick" Strickland is perhaps best known for his family ties with Omar-S (they're cousins), though his productions are well worthy of praise in their own right. Here, he offers up a sampler 12" featuring cuts from his recent (and excellent) Reservoir Dogs LP. Perhaps the most noteworthy cut is "Family Affair", a lovingly constructed chunk of hypnotic, melodic deepness written with Omar-S. That said, Strick's solo effort "Armed & Dangerous" - a winding chunk of voodoo techno - is arguably better. The mazy techno-funk of Reckless Ron Cook's "Night Moves" is also outstanding.
Generation Next - "Like Father, Like Son" (feat Big Strick)
Review: Like Father, Like Son sees Big Strick and his prodigious son Generation Next team up for a split 12" showcasing this pair of criminally underappreciated Detroit producers. "Rain Dance" sees the elder of the two deliver a deep techno journey filled with abstracted textures and organic chimes that sound, while the young Generation Next shows a remarkable maturity beyond his years on "And You Too", where sparse, subtle chords and the simplest of melodies drift by on a light rhythm. On "Like Father, Like Son" the two pair up for the most gently uplifting of deep piano jams. Just like pretty much everything on 7 Days Entertainment, this is some nigh on essential material.
Review: Ron Wilson's 777 serves up more raw and rusty house jams on a new various artists sampler entitled Internal Affairs: this is serious! On the A side is newcomer Brighton with "Tesla" (Leaves Remix), while Frankfurt's Orson Wells gives us "Ratio" where Saarbruckens finest: Roger 23 gets on the remix and delivers a lush deep acid rendition this side of Tin Man. On the flip, Leaves returns with the impressive "Third Floor" getting an awesome remix by Pablo Mateo; working those drum computers to impressive effect as always. Finally, Orson Wells stays on too; working the nightshift on his remix for Glyn's "Kevin Lomax" and giving it a lo-fi, neon lit makeover that will appeal to retroverts dancing well into the morning at Robert Johnson next Sunday morning.
Review: You should know by now that Plastik People is the go-to spot for the most upfront garage house done in a classic style, and they're spelling it out good and proper with The Sound Of Garage House. Marc Cotterell leads the way with the jazzy vibes and deliciously liquid chords of "Those Days" before Ed The Spread brings a nagging shuffle and sharp string stabs to hard-stepping bumper "The Bauhaus Movement". Grant Nelson keeps things tuff with the natty piano hooks and diva slices of "Move Close" while Rocket Dubz ups the funk to 11 for hands in the air party starter "Dirty Bath".
Review: Rising Greek producer G.U.S. steps up on Equivalence with some pumped up vintage techno sounds that take more than a few cues from the UK. "Shelf Cloud" strikes a fine balance between tough and dreamy, using a twitchy set of drums moving at a decent pace and flooding them with atmospheric pads and a slice of vocal that forms a central hook to the track. "Halo" goes even deeper into British territory with its chopped up breakbeat funk calling to mind the dexterous sample magic of Stasis, and then "Haze Phenomenon" heads into deep tech house territory riding a pumped up shuffle beat and swooping pads.
Review: After an excellent first release featuring Freerotation lynchpin Steevio, Russ Gabriel's Rivers Of Groove label returns with a pair of excursions into lush, bubbling techno from Gabriel on his own. As a first generation UK techno stalwart, it's little wonder that he can turn out productions as accomplished as these, but there's no sense that he's treading water. "Ambulate" bears the hallmarks of modular production, all twinkling, morphing synth tones chiming around a delicate beat, while "Dover Calling" favours a snappier electro palette, but both stand out from the crowd for the sheer quality in the production, the warmth in the composition and the needlepoint focus given to every shred of detail in this crucial cuts.