Review: The high grade, leftfield approach to house music Lyssna have set out as their MO continues in fine style on this new Colours series, starting with the Yellow EP and a strong cast of characters from the outer reaches. Riciar Ghir opens up proceedings with the tumbling deep house of "Cargo", making the keys dance with distinction and injection a subby rumble where it counts. Minimal Afrika follow that up with a percussive tryst entitled "Drakma Queen" that blossoms into a sumptuous ambient excursion. Robotalco takes a very different approach with some classically pumping sample-powered house music to shake feel-good fists to, and then Klubbhuset finishes up with an impassioned romp through peak time disco licks for the peak of the night.
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: Reno Ka first appeared alongside the Prince of Chicago house, Terrence Parker, on the mighty Planet E back in 2013 and, although we only heard her vocal talents on the particular EP, we knew that we'd somehow see her soon again. Here she is on the sixth outing from Music and Power with "Where Is The Love?", a smooth and silky house warmer that hangs in the balance between soulful and classic Chicago beatdown; it's one of those for the lovers, and a track that can be appreciated by both DJs and straight-up Saturday evening dancers. There's a dub version on the flipside where, of course, the vocals are stripped back to give more room to the sonics, a gentle sway of cooling synths and echoing flurries of harmonics. A wonderful EP that sits just right with us.
Review: Montreal's KenLo Craqnuques has been bubbling away in the underground for some time, but lucky for us Hot Shot Sounds took notice and now present his first outing on vinyl with the Wheeels EP. There is an irresistible funk to the sounds that Craqnuques conjures up, pushing fat, Moog-esque basslines and low slung machine beats rolling at an easy tempo that hark back to the golden days of boogie and electro funk. "Mollusque" indicates how his is far from a throwback sound though - this is up to the minute instrumental RnB that recognises the true roots of the genre while looking to the future, and it sounds utterly fresh.
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: After a two-year hiatus, the "Watergate Affairs" series returns with an EP of tracks from what the legendary Berlin label describes as "talent from outside the crew's immediate circle". Danish duo Baime step up first with the humid late night techno exotica of "Majka" - all Indonesian percussion, snake charmer synths and Teutonic grooves - before Kadosh offers up the melodious tech-house/deep-house fusion of "Better Days". Turn to the flip for a dash of quietly euphoric White Isle tech-house goodness from Ibiza-based Kintar ("Paradisou") and the extra-percussive throb of Kevin Di Serna's "Lucero Del Alma", where evocative electronic lead lines bubble above moody bass and pulsating synthesizer motifs.
Vocoder So Sexy (Quad IBB's Funk-Trib original mix)
Vocoder So Sexy (instrumental)
Review: Donnie Tempo has only appeared once previously as Knu Je', and that was way back in 2001. Now the alias is revived on Sound Reflection in a shimmering, twirling expression of broken beat and boogie sensibilities for those who like their beats soul n' sun drenched. It's actually his Quad IBB alias that serves up the "original mix" of "Vocoder So Sexy", and it's nothing short of stunning. The rich layers of vocals cavort with the expressive key changes and sharply angled beats, making for a truly striking cut that sounds equally fresh in its instrumental form on the B side.
Review: Kimochi Sound introduces a new artist for their 30th release. This debut record is all deep beats and breaks and it's full of the fuzzy feels and swollen atmospheres we've come to expect from the imprint. It's a bit of a mini album, moving from Ilian Tape techno influences to a closing number reminiscent of Ulrich Schnauss.
Review: After Franco Cinelli's opener for the Psyfunk label, the imprint returns to action in 2017 with this magnetic little debut from Klepzek, a mysterious deep house artist with a penchant for the bizarre and mysterious. The A-side is all clicks and heavily stripped-back percussive flair; the tune called "P/01" sounds a bit like Barnt's recent material, and would go down a storm in any sort of house set - raw, tech, outsider, or even Chicago. The B-side, ""P/02" is not too dissimilar form its cousin, except that the beat flex is harsher here, the bass bumps more rounded and polished off with a muscly sort of drum roll for the darker corners of the dancefloor. Tidy and effective.
Review: From Kon's forthcoming compilation on BBE entitled Kon & The Gang, this 12? sampler features two cuts taken from the LP and an exclusive remix from Boston producer and mix engineer Caserta, namely "Timeless" (Caserta mix)" a tasty serving of super deep and low slung disco goodness. A more functional edit for DJ use follows on "Timeless" (remix - Caserta mix)". On the flip Truccy (better known as Compost's Rainer Truby and Corrado Bucci) present "Closer", a gorgeous slo-mo house jam with a rolling groove fetauring all the good stuff: swirling Rhodes keys, groovy congas and hypnotic vox.