Review: Given that eight years have passed since French techno stalwart Agoria released an album, it's little surprise to find that "Drift" sees him taking what he describes as "a new musical approach". On the accompanying press release, the Gallic veteran has described the set's sound as being inspired by "sitting on your sofa between your guilty pleasure and your tasteful opinion". In other words, it's a more open-minded and eclectic affair that mixes accessible, laidback vocal numbers (see the sparse tech-house-pop of opener "Embrace (feat Phoebe Killdeer)" and cheery chugger "You're Not Alone (feat Blase)" with nods towards wonky, off-kilter electronic hip-hop (STS hook-up "Call Of The Wild") and a swathe of heavier, club-leaning cuts inspired by his love of techno and Italo-disco.
Review: Polyrhythm-loving dancefloor experimentalist Harmonious Thelonious is finally releasing a sequel to 2016's "International Dance Record", an album that remains amongst the prolific producer's most potent works. This is not an album, though, but rather an EP that boasts two previously unheard cuts and some fresh remixes of tracks featured on its' predecessor. Opener "Shark Dance" is exotic and Middle Eastern in outlook, with bleeping electronics and foreboding refrains riding a mixture of synthetic and acoustic percussive, while "Blinky" is a chugging, mind-altering affair that reminded us a little of the 1988 version of the KLF's "What Time Is Love?". Remix wise, Tolouse Low Trax goes bass-heavy and mind altering on his revision of "Rivera", before Jan Schulte's alter ego Wolf Muller turns "RFS" into a hallucinatory lo-fi drum jam.
Review: A soundtrack for the contemporary 'Vinti' (defeated) with its dark and at the same time sparkling flavour of the '80s sounds. Between cold wave, synth pop and imaginary electronic atmospheres. This record with its horror-framed and dystopian scenario ("Slot Machine") reveals a content of social criticism healed through the warm and evocative indulgence of "Che Male C'e'. Courtesy of Naples based imprint Early Sounds Recordings.
Review: Kevin Gorman's unstoppable edit craft continues! "Walrus Edits", as you may well have expected (or heard on his Boiler Room set) kicks off with a glittering twist on Barry White's "Passion". A lighter touched classic, here Gorman pays full respect with just a tweak in production to maintain the original's finesse. "Rivers" builds on AV's body of original work with creeping evocative piano licks while "Off The Man" continues the walrus theme with a dubbed out, highly strung take on "Somebody's Gonna Off The Man". Lovely.
Review: The enigmatic Adelphi Music Factory returns after last year's underground goodie "Javelin" with a brand new scorcher that's a sure shot to burn up dancefloor this year. "Feel Right Now (Power!)" is a joyous, driving anthem of resistance following in the tradition of proper late '90s funky house. On the flip, the soulful and uplifting loops of "Juicy" is a euphoric call to arms. Sisterhood. Brotherhood. Harmony. Dance.
Review: Detroit Beatdown member and all-round Motor City legend Norm Talley is back on London imprint Landed, with this special release for Record Store Day 2019. Following up a terrific run of releases on FXHE, People Of Earth and Classic, he serves up "Beyond Time" with the driving and hypnotic dub techno excursion of the title track, followed by some dusty hometown style of deepness on "That Detroit Bounce" before closing it out with an infectious looped up disco re-edit in the form of "A Love Story".
Review: Another single-sided sizzler from the Digwah camp, whose irregular tech-house reworks of well-loved old cuts are rarely less than excellent. This time round, they've turned their attention to a sprightly, memorable chunk of '80s soul - an American club cut of the period that has been re-edited numerous times by disco diggers. The Digwah version, though, is an almost complete overhaul; while snippets of the original version's vocals and guitars are present in the mix, they largely play second fiddle to chunky tech-house beats and a bold, huggable bassline that propels the revision forward towards peak-time dancefloors. It's decent and scintillating like most Digwah remixes.
Review: UK nu-jazz/broken beat Maestro Martin Iveson aka Atjazz returns with more properly soulful and emotive deep house music on his new epic "Tear". Featuring all the hallmarks of his idiosyncratic sound, the original features soothing melodic tones, intricate rhythm arrangements and an all-round evocative feel. On the B side are two terrific remixes: UK producer Soulfuledge serves up a dreamy and hypnotic rework that will mix in well with your All Day I Dream/Tale + Tone records. Iveson looks further North to Peacey as he delivers an ethereal and sensual remix equally suited to all the daydreamers out there.
My Body (Louie Vega remix/Synth Bass instrumental) (8:58)
My Body (Louie Vega radio version) (3:46)
Review: Luther Vandross originally wrote and recorded "My Body" in 1979, though his version was never released; instead, the song was re-recorded by Stephanie Mills and included on her 1983 album "Merciless". Here we finally get a chance to hear Luther belt it out himself, with Masters At Work man Louie Vega providing production and a dizzying number of remixes. There are two bumpin' and life-affirming "Soul House" mixes (the second replacing Vandross' lead vocal with some mazy Rhodes solos), a fluid and positive "Remix/Synth Bass Mix" that packs plenty of dancefloor energy, and warmer "EOL Mix" and "EOL Dub" versions that utilize a warm bass guitar part and some tasty chord progressions. Throw in a couple of edits and instrumentals and you have a suitably epic set of reworks.
Review: Toki Fuko has quietly slipped out some high-grade ambient electronics over the past 10 years, but this double-vinyl drop on the ever excellent Silent Season represents some his most striking work to date. In line with the label's aesthetic, gauzy dub techno atmospheres prevail in the main, as thick billowing clouds of chord drift over submerged, stripped down rhythms. There is also space for other moods to infect the process though - there's a laconic 90s chill-out room groove to "Spring Ray (Outtake)", which then gets reshaped as a pattering percussive meditation on the EP's closing mix. Stunning, immersive approaches from start to finish.
Review: After several releases on the Shewey Trax label, Delicate Instruments takes on a more psychedelic approach into the thoughts about escaping the fractured American world view. This is record one from the forthcoming full length LP "MEM-0". Memory-1 "MEM-1" available first as a single 180gram vinyl limited edition and will also be included in the album followup release. Withdraw from the world around you, into your own innerworld...
Review: More deep and dreamy tech house from the Shanti Radio camp out of Moscow, courtesy of the enigmatic Lost Desert - a staple of Lee Burridge's All Day I Dream/ Tale + Tone imprints. The mystery man provides ample dancefloor fodder just in time for rooftop day parties this summer on the Incipient EP. Go deep into the exotic on the title track with its mix of electronic beats and ethnic instrumentation that provides perfect bliss, followed by the percussive tribal groove of "Ipanema" calling to mind the 'Mannheim sound' from a decade ago. On the flip, be mesmerised by the EP's most evocative cut "First Burn (Carousel Edit)" which is geared towards the glassy-eyed and heartfelt moments on the dancefloor.
Review: Leon Vynehall's stunningly picturesque "Midnight On Rainbow Road" was one of the undoubted highlights of Gerd Jansen's second Musik For Autobahns compilation, which was released in the autumn of 2015 by Rush Hour. Here, it gets a deserved single release, with the original - a hypnotic, driving-inspired blend of fluid electronic melodies, a wispy percussion and Jonny Nash style glistening guitar lines - being complimented by a brand new "Beat Edit". This adds a slowly unfurling, head-nodding rhythm that takes the track further towards Detroit Beatdown territory. In essence, though, it sounds like an early '90s ambient house jam. That's no bad thing, given that Vynehall seems to have emphasised the sun-kissed beauty of the original in the process.