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".
Review: AntiDEEPressant is a new label that kicks off with a strong cast of contenders exploring interesting facets of the deep house tradition, starting off with the sultry wonder of Lola Allen's "Karma". There's mystery woven in between the African percussion that shapes out her track, and it's a pleasure to get lost in. Millie & Hirsch take a tender approach to Roland D Clark's classic "I Get Deep", while Mateo & Matos push the tempo back up with the jazz-tinged "Idris Rises." Vincent Inc is last on the list, and he cruises in with the slow and strange tones of "Tears Of God".
Review: Finale Sessions welcomes Anaxander to join label main man Michael Zucker for another one of those impeccable trips through top shelf deep house. Anaxander gets busy with "Stabs Of Love", a truly ear nagging piece that cuts through the glut of soundalike productions to say something truly special. Meanwhile his "Heart 2 Heart" resides on the B2, presenting a lighter, more playful cut peppered with pattering bongos and sprightly keys. Zucker gets into a slightly off kilter funk on "Greater Is He" before dropping into a perfect bump on "Lost Without You", putting some swing into dub house and making it sound natural.
Review: Crew love is true love: Beste Freunde 05 is upon us and it's not likely to hang around. Once again it's a whole new collective of like-minded souls together for a fresh expedition. Anil Aras leads the mission with a rippling Detroitian understated number simply called "Track 1". He's flanked by Paolo Rocco and Moises. The former ups the temperature and gets us in a lather with the insistent pace of "Ill" while the latter sooths our souls and oils our joints with the slippery hypnosis session "Easy Beauty". Finally Esposito & Nadje run point with the heaviest tool of the trip - the bubbling technoid "HBP". Friends till the end!
Review: Proper deepness yet again from Italian imprint Rebirth, with volume two of their limited series which features a new one by Greek house hero Argy. His track kicks off the A side titled "Let's Play" and features the evocative vocals of Blue Jay over his hypnotic and soulful epic - it's the same kind of dancefloor drama that's earned him releases on Ibadan, Versatile and Bedrock over the years. This is followed by the emotive and sensual remix of Modular Projects "Leaving" by German Acid Pauli, which gets a stellar groove injection of the deeper kind. Finally there's some properly soulful and sunkissed 'hands in the air' vibes on the electric remix of Lele Sacchi's "Dreaming Won't Do" by Tiger & Woods.
Review: Vinyl Only reach their seventh release with a fresh grip of lesser known producers bringing high grade grooves to the table. Bubbadog opens the 12" up in a woozy fashion with the warbling piano chords of "Goin' Round", capturing a time-slip mood that carries through to the dusty jazz soaked beat down of Minus The Majors' "Strole On Through". On the B-side, Alex Zuiev gets into an exotic, chiming, 80s-inflected mood on "Down By The River", creating a slow-burning dancefloor heater out of classic ingredients. Ugly Frankie finishes the EP off with the stripped down funk of "Your Ears Look Great".
Review: Miles Sagnia's British bastion of deepness, AER, returns with the LIFE EP, which sees the label foray into fresh territory. Tokyo's Tomi Chair opens proceedings with a sharp piece of deep techno called "Sunstroke" which is as uplifting as it is tough. Si Tappenden appears next under the newly established Ourra alias, contributing the dawn acid driver "Marine Morning" which is an inspired piece of dancefloor poetry. Finally rounding off the Ep is Miles Sagnia's 'Elements'. After years of experience as one of the UK's finest underground DJs, Sagnia is on point once again. A beautifully emotive track, that pulls on the heart strings and exhibits a serene gentility that works alongside the rhythm.
Yoshiko Okabe - "Tree 4" (Yamuraka club mix) (6:54)
Review: House Running are back with another of their signature compilation 12"s, calling on a host of talented producers keeping the house dream alive. Paris-based producer Colkin is bringing nothing but good vibes on piano chopping, lately bass-ing burner "Central 13". He also gets a second look in with "Gonna Be", which features none other than Detroit breakthrough star Javonntte on impossibly powerful vocals. On the flip, Meemo is on hand with the spaced out funk of "Untitled" while Yoshiko Okabe's "Tree 4" gets a 90s-style, club-ready re-rub from Yamuraka. If you're looking for high grade deep house music, look no further.
All You Need Is House (Milty Evans Whitebeard mix)
All You Need Is House (Ty'z classic dub)
Review: Tyree Cooper's All You Need Is House EP is a proud celebration of the genre, done Chicago style and rammed home by Marco's wailing vocals. Through solid drums and strong vocal hooks, Cooper's original beats down hard justifying the need for a 180g pressing. It rattles and hums until dropping into a tom-drum and snare solo similar to Runaway's "Brooklyn Club Jam". Bobby Starr's mix brings Marco's Teddy Pendergrass-sung vocals to the fore, while Milty Evans gets a little techier with a cut up approach, adding white noise flashes and lots of filterwerk. Cooper second take comes via a "classic dub" which draws a link between squelchy baile funk and a Masters At Work drum track.
Bongneck - "The Robber's Daughter" (Ghiz Retouch) (6:06)
Makebo - "Unknown Beauty" (9:09)
Review: Moscow's Shanti Radio imprint has been on fine form of late, offering up must-check 12s from DSF, Lost Desert, Volen Sentir and many more. Here they offer up their first multi-artist EP of 2019, an undeniably attractive and ear-pleasing affair that effortlessly joins the dots between deep house, tech-house and more percussive tribal flavours. Highlights are plentiful throughout, with our picks including the string-drenched, bittersweet brilliance of Makebo's "Unknown Beauty", the sub-heavy throb of Ghiz's tasty rework of Bongbeck's "The Robber's Daughter" - all rolling hand percussion, insanely weighty bass and picturesque melodic flourishes - and the sunset-ready dancefloor bliss of Cornucopia's impeccable "Nature Boy".
Review: After a short break in releases, Plastik People are back with the third installment of the Various People. We see label owner Marc Cotterell up first with his slice of 90's house music, incorperating slick grooves and catchy cut up vocals, along side mark on side A, a new addition to the Plastik People family from london, Charles Caliber, who graces the EP with a stunning soulful house groove called Moving On. On the flip side NYC artist Doug Gomez brings us a classic sounding, deep head nodding track which was originally releases on Frole records and we loved it so much that we decided it needed a vinyl releases, to round off the release, we are very pleased to have Mikki Funk back on Plastik People. he delivers us a splendid cut of UK garage, Mikki Funk has also previously released on RM Records and Music IS Love.