Review: Australian duo Yolanda Be Cool are back. The outfit behind the worldwide smash hit "We No Speak Americano" with DCUP in 2010 hail from Sydney, and are comprised of Sylvester Martinez and Johnson Peterson. They are back on local label Sweat It Out, an imprint that they have been stalwarts of for the last decade, in addition to releases for Dim Mak and Nurvous. "Musika" is a melodic and emotive deep house jam on an Afro and 'techy' tip - which will appeal to fans of the Innervisions sound. There are some great remixes too: Babert (Disco Revenge) delivers a very retro Italo house rendition, while Los Angeles based DJ Dateless goes for a classic '90s house perspective that dives deep.
Review: Owen Jay's Batti Batti label has carried a great selection of various artists releases throughout its back catalogue, and the tradition continues with this latest missive. The Palette EP kicks off with the ever-rising talents of Jayson Wynters, who plies a seductive strain of deep house on "Sherella's Kiss" that melts perfectly into the blissful, twinkling keys and gossamer percussion of Duccio's "Absurdation". Kiddmisha leads in on the B side with the sprightly electro of "Healing" before Weakmassive rounds things off with the mellow acid of "Sjhue," which matches a nagging 303 with sumptuous keys for a spine-tingling conclusion to a fantastic 12".
Review: It was only a matter of time before Henry Wu and K15 would link up with London's Eglo, and their respective prior releases for the likes of Wild Oats, Rhythm Section and 22a have earned them a spot in one of the finest house and broken beat labels around. "Love's Gambit" is a perfect example of the latter genre, a sublime blend of jazzy percussion swings and smooth melodic drifts, followed by the even more soulful bounces of the gentle "Space & Time" - one for the jazz fusion heads! "The Anthem" heads towards more housey spheres thanks to its stable beat pattern - it-s an absolute peach of a tune, by the way - but it's "Shahada" that governs the dancefloor with its rough MPC drum programming and finger-licking synth rotations. A beautiful and fitting addition to the catalogue.
Review: The rise of the titans right here! (pardon the pun). Two of the biggest hi-tech soul merchants from the United Kingdom team up here on Spanish imprint Suara, for some epic and futurist dancefloor drama on "Rise". Strict rhythms accompany layer upon layer of warm emotive pads and soaring synth leads - as you'd expect from the duo. Their further homage to Detroit (via Glasgow and London) continues on second original offering "Variable Slope" which brings the funk with its bleepy bassline and killer groove for a life affirming dancefloor journey. There's a couple of killer remixes too. French sonic wizardry from the one and only Voiski: who delivers a scorching rendition, plus a lovely neon-lit classic house perspective from the controversial Marquis Hawkes. If that was not enough, a sombre, deep electro re-take on the aforementioned "Rise" by Leipzig's Lake People caters to a more downbeat moment.
Review: The second installment of Multi-Culti's Moon Faze Sun Gaze series is a typically psychedelic affair, with an impressive cast of producers delivering a quintet of trippy workouts. Von Party & Dreems join forces to present "Wet Raga", a spaced-out combination of delay-laden drums, space disco electronics, and Eastern mysticism. The ever-reliable Red Axes fuses heavy post-punk bass, with punchy percussion and minimal wave melodies on the excellent "Boosha Gdola", while Dreems go solo on the weirdo acid-electro bubbler "Sine O'The Tymes". Nick Murray and Kris Baha underpin psychedelic disco electronics with the heavyweight throb of house on "Say Something", before Cocolo draws proceedings to a close with the pitched-down shuffle of analogue wobbler "F33lings".
Review: On the latest Lumberjacks missive Marcel Vogel invites one of the strongest house vocalists of modern times, Khalil Anthony, to lend his distinctive croon to a loose-limbed slice of low-riding funk. "Dance The Blues Away" is a gutsy, full-bodied production that shows off Vogel's instrumental skills at their strongest, and Anthony's vocal rolls on in the many-layered mix perfectly. BB Boogie injects a little disco stomp to the track for the first remix on the 12", while Julien Dyne gets to turn out a remix and a dub. Both Dyne's efforts tap into a Detroit house feeling, all dusty sample loops and a laid back, smoky mood. It's a record made up of killer soul-soaked house music from start to finish.
Review: The unstoppable Vogel machine is back on Lumberjacks with another serving of soul-soaked house goodness to warm the cockles as we step into Spring. This time around he's called on one of the great house vocalists of our times, Khalil Anthony, to lay down a vocal on "Brown Curls" that melts over Vogel's peppy, organic production. Nebraska bring a deeper, chunkier flavour to the track with their remix, and the results are just as captivating. Anthony's also on hand to croon over "You Are A Star", an equally simmering jam with more of that dusty house pressure from the deep end of the pool, while "Those Moments" finishes the record off on a funky, instrumental tip.
Review: Buoyed by a triumphant return to his own Roots For Bloom label, Jamie Trench joins forces with sometimes Marcel Vogel and Thatmanmonkz collaborator Khalil Anthony for a deep and bumping workout on Seven Dials. Anthony's soulful and melancholic vocals sound particularly good over Trench's bass-heavy UK garage influenced beats, seductive keys and dreamy chords. It's because of this that the opening Vocal Mix is our pick of the bunch, though Seb Vito also includes plenty of Anthony's contributions on his more driving, hypnotic and tech-tinged B-side interpretation. To complete the package, Trench offers up a more bumping, direct and stripped-back instrumental version.
Review: Following the royal success that was Maximum Joy, Alfresco is back with another release.
2015 marks ten years of Alfresco Disco parties. The label is still only young, however - but the crew bring their party planning, djing and producing experience into the label.
The Maximum Joy pt. 2 presents 4 good friends of the Alfresco Crew, both old and new, who each bring something different to the e.p whilst still maintaining the free spirited Alfresco Vibe.
Thermal Bear brings in a straight up classic deep house beat with 'Round and Round'. Outrageously warm chunky production and one to keep the crowd moving in the wee hours.
Kemback's effort shuffles effortlessly into the mind, taking you on a dreamy trip to somewhere wonderful. A strong nod to Floating Points here with it's heavy swing, gritty drums, and Kemback makes subtle but powerful use of his fine musicianship.
James Fox brings the good time disco-house vibe with the sample-heavy 'Feeling Free'. The wonderful arrangement and vocal make this a pure summer record that's been getting great crowd reactions.
Our Cornish Connection and newcomer Kieran Holden slows it down and makes it nice and trippy with the magnificent 'Wild Palms'. We love this dark, acid tinged sound which adds a different dimension to the ep and shows why Kieran has already been getting props from the likes of Tici Taci and the LFOS crew.
Review: Rothmans is back with there 7th release and this time they pay homage to German playmaker Paul Breitner . The EP comes in the form of rising Manchester producer Ste Spandex , fresh off the back of his remix of Coyote our on Rothmans 6 , and has been recorded 100% live on analogue eqiupment , not a computer in sight !!!! . The EP finds Rothmans taking a slightly different and more up tempo vibe to it but still retains the psychadelic Nu Disco feel of many of there Earlier releases. Spandex has had a little help from his friends in the form of Kickin' Pigeon and Metrodome , both fresh out of the Manchester underground. This is Rothmans first all Manchester release and sees them really cemeting the label in there surroundings.
Review: Given the popularity of volumes one and two in the superb Rhythms Of The Pacific series, you can bet your bottom dollar that this third installment will fly off the shelves. Happily, the standard remains high throughout, with debutant Slim Media Player particularly impressing. The artist with the superbly-current name offers up a pair of fine tracks; the low-slung jazz bass, new age pads and bumpin' beats of "Dappled Love", and the decidedly horizontal, loved-up shuffle of "Pink Hues, Bad News". On the flip, Electric Sound Broadcast melds yearning, sun-kissed electronics to freshly beaked house breaks on the delightful "WaveRunner", before 1080p regular Khotin delivers a dash of dreamy, acid-flecked brilliance in the shape of EP standout "Nimbus (Tomi's Pad Mix)".
Review: Inside Out is a brand new series from Aus Music label head Will Saul. It invites DJs and producers to blur the boundaries between traditional artist albums and mix compilations. The concept encourages them to showcase their own music, or the music of those in their own individual circles. Depending on who is curating, it will take different forms. The idea stems from Saul's own approach in the club, which often finds him seeking out brand new and unheard music to play for the first time. There's a strong Detroit techno aesthetic throughout his inaugural release for the series: from the emotive hi-tech soul of his own collaboration with Komon entitled "Positive", Amsterdam legend Gerd had no problem channeling similarly timeless retro vibes either, as heard on the funky techno-soul of "Echoes". They save the best for last on the flip, with the legendary Floorplan's riveting rendition of Primitive Trust's "Little Love" - perfect to get that 3AM style strobe-lit tunnel vision in effect.
Review: Little known fact: the coloured kiss marks on Puss' white label releases are made by "real live humans". Or at least that's what label bosses Kornel Kovacs and HNNY say. That's pretty much the only information about this release, which appears to have been made by producers with the initials "RD" and "KF". "I Don't Dance I Make Money Moves" places Cardi B's hip-hop/R&B vocal over a warm and melodious backing track that sits somewhere between snappy electro and Balearic deep house. It's summery as hell and twice as hot! "4AM" on the other hand is sludgy, sleazy and percussive, with Afro-house style rhythms and chunky bass underpinning jaunty steel pan melodies. In other words, it's a tasty tropical house workout.
Paul Randolph, Kathy Kosins & Theo Parrish - "Be Like Me" (SS translation) (9:41)
John Douglas, Amp Fiddler, Ideeyah & Theo Parrish - "Leave The Funk To Us" (full mix) (6:37)
Review: Theo Parrish's "Gentrified Love" series hits its fourth instalment with two stunning extensions/takes. First up is a powerful expansion of "Leave The Funk To Us". First spotted on the second edition of the series, it's now full length with the golden touch of Amp Fiddler. "Be Like Me", meanwhile, takes Paul Randolph & Kathy Kosins' Brownswood Bubbler to a whole new cosmos with lavish twists and cleverly subverted layers. Yet another precision trip from Parrish.
Review: Theo Parrish's Gentrified Love series seems to be a collaborative affair. Part two, available separately, contained hook-ups with fellow Detroiters Wajeed and Duminie Deporres. "Ghetto Proposal", which is available in Vocal and Instrumental versions, features sublime contributions from another Motor City legend, veteran modern soul man Amp Fiddler. It's something of a deliciously trippy affair, underpinned by a freaky, delay-heavy groove, fireside-warm Rhodes keys, meandering trumpet lines and - on the vocal version, at least, drowsy female vocals. Both artists jazz influence is clear, particularly in the crunchy percussion hits that begin to dominate as the track progresses. Interestingly, the instrumental moves a little further towards jazzy broken beat territory.
Review: The resurgence of Icelandic techno continues with the latest release on AE Recordings, seeing Bjarnar Jonsson returning to his long standing Ohm project alongside emergent talent Kvadrant. The pair were last seen on Kvadarant's Kontakt label, and their production partnership is clearly still yielding quality, dubbed out techno in the finest Scandinavian tradition. Even if all the tracks are built with a steely techno focus to them, the synth work and sound design scattered throughout the tracks elevates this to a higher level, not least on the bubbling geisers of signal processing that course through the middle of "Grip".
Review: Thomas Berg's Soundscape Versions has Berlin very much at its heart; we're not talking street creds or look here, but purely musical aesthetic. It's champion artist, Octaedre, makes gorgeous swirls of dub techno and is named after one of Basic Channel's infamous 12"s, a totally fitting chice once you hear the fine groove of "M Nature II". Following the shadowy producer is E110 and the majestic glide of "Empty", another dubbed-out slammer, and while Mirage Man retains a form of dubbiness to his sonic manipulation, "6AM" is significantly more stripped-down and beat-heavy; "Tascam Loops" by Kuf takes a grainy palate of beats and bleeps, washes them over a fading glow of a bassline and wraps it all up in a nice techno package for you - probably the best tune on an already stellar EP. TIP!
Review: Noble Square celebrates its 10 year anniversary with a repress of Chicago's Ricardo Miranda & K Joy's 2011 EP. This 12" features the dusty, deep and soulful blues of "Do You Want Me" which is in the vein of masters like Nick Holder and Kenny Dixon Jr. On the flip we have the dirty late night acid jack of "The DJ Knows What I Like" featuring squeaky synths, rusty rhythm patterns and Joy's sultry come hither vocals. According to the label, 'the original master reels were lost so the YONURICAN SOUL Brotha made all new music.' Noble Square Recordings is a showcase of memorable dance music that seeks to stay grounded in the strong foundation of Chicago's roots. A foundation that includes many forms/styles of underground music, but without the burden of useless labels. Noble Square presents 'not only sonic love but also sonic statements.'