Review: Smile & Wave appears from out of nowhere with two unknown names heading up the first release. There's no indication of who is behind A Houseband or Russian Hackers, but both of them have done a damn fine job of bringing two sure fire killers to wax. The first is "Another Love Another Happiness", which as the title candidly suggests is yet another version of the oft-sampled "Love & Happiness", this time framed in a bubbling, dubby deep house context for the mellow heads to soak up. By way of contrast Russian Hackers get busy with "303", bringing some forthright jack to the table.
Review: Yam Who?'s Midnight Riot is back with another volume of funky, party starting edits, so come and get your fix. Aashton's "Pride" samples the diva vocals of you know who on this smooth and soulful number. Peza's "Black Gold" is pure classic disco, reminiscent of Salsoul, possibly? Fabiolous Barker's "The Paradise" has that retro and Balearic vibe that fans of labels like Love On The Rocks and Efficient Space will certainly dig. "The Jam" by Rayko is a re-edit of you guessed it: Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam".
Review: The Finale Sessions Select series finds Michael Zucker steering his label into new, techy pastures with a host of esteemed guests on board. For this fourth round, he's called upon Kai Alce and Reggie Dokes to stand alongside him in demonstrating exactly what's great about contemporary house and techno. Alce is up first with "Scene 2", bringing a bubbly, sleek confection of machine soul to the table. Zucker gets things rolling along steady with the heady trip of "Summer Time", and then Reggie Dokes sends the record drifting off on a wonderfully crooked tip with "Running".
Roger Van Lunteren - "On And Dna No (The Sun Riser)" (5:06)
Phil Gerus - "Prelude To Love" (4:37)
Review: The XXX crew are on a mission to celebrate the adventurous and utterly well-informed dance music scene of Amsterdam, and they move to the fourth release on their label with a strong cast of characters that all have something different to say. Alterleo opens up the 12" with the low-throbbing psyche out of "Train To..." before Al Gobi takes over with the aqueous hardware house bubbles of "Rule Of Three". On the B side, Jack Pattern & John Parsley work together to lay down a fierce blend of industrial and disco that will send shivers down your spine. Roger Van Lunteren meanwhile revels in the squelchiest kind of esoteric acid with a new age mystique thrown in for good measure, and then Phil Gerus provides a soothing soliloquy to finish this distinctive record off.
Raw District - "Another Way" (feat Alice Rose) (7:43)
Siopis - "Be Mine" (feat Ellbee Bad) (6:35)
Review: A four track vinyl sampler of the new compilation series from Crosstown Rebels, Label founder Damian Lazarus introduces us to Spirits. He has compiled what he describes as 'a fresh psychedelic journey into the mind', aiming to bring together a collection of new artists from both his imprints. Gruuv head honchos from Leeds Audiojack deliver the goods (as always!) on the rolling tribal tech house of "Reverie", while Bristolian rising star Dubspeeka serves up a slow-burning and hypnotic journey aimed at the mind (as much as it is for the feet!) on "Lyssa". On the flip, Belgian duo Raw District team up with the amazing Alice Rose on vocals for the Afro inspired rain dance that is "Another Way" while Berlin's Jannis Siopis delivers something a bit more powerful to lead into the peak time on the druggy and strobe-lit darkroom dub of "Be Mine" featuring Elbee Bad.
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.
Review: Steve O'Sullivan's Mosaic train keeps on rolling, this time via the LTDX series which reaches its second station stop with two more dubbed out dancefloor delights for the deepest divers. O'Sullivan dons his Bluetrain guise to deliver the UK steppers-indebted "Armchair Analyst," which artfully folds subtle dubwise influences into its minimal techno construction. On the flip side, Roger Gerressen spaces things out good and proper with the slow-stalking groove of "Long Overdue," fusing the best elements of contemporary minimal and classic dub to create a fine extension of the Rhythm & Sound blueprint.
Review: Dungeon Meat's self-titled label is not known for its subtlety, and so it goes on this rip-roaring various artists 12" featuring three rough and ready jams for the peak time house crowd. Blunt Instruments get things going straight away with the mean New Jersey swing of "Kum On", as tough and bumping a house cut as you're ever likely to find. Ron Obvious steps up with "Mindful Vision", bringing an utterly addictive stripped down garage-y shuffle to the table, while Per Hammar finishes the EP off with the breaks-embellished "BX Chamber", a freaked-out dub-soaked affair for the heads down crowd.
Review: The ever prolific Chris Carrier teams up with Spanish outfit Rhythm & Soul for the fifth record on Jus Groove It, and as you would expect the tracks come on classy and nicely tripped out. "Fasten Your Seatbelts" leads the charge with its mechanical set of drums and subtle tones and FX making this a DJ tool par excellence, while "Pilote Automatique" holds down a more swinging groove while adhering to the same mantra of reduced, DJ-friendly production. It's not all strict club sounds though, as "Sphere#2" demonstrates with its abstract synthesizer loping as a pleasant finishing touch to the record.
Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Timo Garcia & The Chesire Catz remix)
Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Tom Belton S Ssl Re-rub)
Review: Coldcut return with the stand-out single from their critically-acclaimed album, "Sound Mirrors". The pioneering duo take Joe South's classic 70s hit "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" and re-work it in the tradition which started with their own "Autumn Leaves" and incorporates Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy" amongst others. And, as usual, Coldcut know how to pick a collaborator. Robert Owens should need no introduction. One of the true legends of house music, his career as a musical innovator (as well as the possessor of an all-time great voice) runs from pioneer days as one half of Fingers Inc in Chicago in the 80s right up to collaborations with Photek and London Elektricity, via any number of classic tunes including "Tears", "I'll Be Your Friend" and "Ordinary Son". The version of the tune included on the single ties the epic nature of Coldcut's production to a skipping, swinging house rhythm and the kind of anthemic build that leaves you exhausted. It's a truly beautiful piece of music, the contrast between the delicacy of Owens' voice and the weight of the orchestration perfectly realised. And that's before you've even reached the mixes. Tiga takes the original, strips out the music and replaces it with technoid pulses and a harder dancefloor rhythm, with the sweetness of Owens' voice cutting through the intensity. Henrik Schwarz (of Berlin-based Sonar Kollektiv) builds the original into a melancholy, jazzy number which still sets the foot tapping. Tom Belton goes straight for the disco-funk hands-in-the-air jugular, before Timo Garcia hardens up the kick for a full-on club odyssey.
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".
Woman For A Day (Clandestino Dessert Trance remix)
Review: We have been patiently waiting for Pele to crop up on a release from the footy mad Rothmans, and what a time to play that card! Rothmans is back once again with his Aussie teammate Dawn Again, supported by a first appearance from Leeds legends Clandestino. EP opener 'Cobblejam' is nothing short of first class, a worthy and chugging Italo powerhouse that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. The B-side finds us with the strangely named 'Woman For A Day', though there's nothing strange about the track itself, a deep and dark cut that slowly drives forward into the abyss. Finishing off the record is an excellent remix from the lads over at Clandestino, their 'Dessert Trance' vibe brings the record together as sweetly as Pele brought together that 1970 World Cup Winning team.
Soul Of Man - "Dirty Waltzer" (Denney Nubreed edit) (6:39)
Richie Blacker & Loeca - "Angel" (6:48)
Tim Weeks - "Illuminate" (6:50)
Review: The Nubreed series has built amazing momentum over the past year and Global Underground are very proud to announce Denney as the newest DJ to turn in a future classic for the iconic series. The British producer has stated that this three month labour of love resulted in the most personal and emotive selection of music he has made in his career thus far. He thought his Essential Mix was tough going - but mixing Nubreed 12 he felt he reached another level. Features 29 tracks, including four exclusives from Denney and friends, with highlights such as the artist's own "Genena", the Andy Cato classic "7AM Drop", legend Danny Howell's massive "Isolar" and the progressive house classic "I Wish You Were Here" by John Creamer & Stephane K (feat Nkemdi - Omid 16B Revisit remix).
Review: No-nonsense German label EXT has gone back to basics here, delivering their first split-artist EP since 2016. DJ Gonzo and Dr Yes handle side A, unfurling a tactile but wonky techno jack-track ("Ring Center") full of jaunty, all action synth-bass, bleeping computer electronics, fluttering synth riffs and clanking drum machine beats that doff a cap to both Chicago jack and Motor City futurism. Rough Thought takes over on side B, charging through a bustling combination of rising and falling intergalactic synth lines, deep space chords, surging arpeggio bass and a drum track so sweaty that it could have been laid down by a drummer who has just downed four cans of the world's most repulsive energy drink.