Review: We can confirm that Adam "Admin" Wickens is not only a hugely talented DJ and producer, but also a thoroughly nice chap. Here he makes his bow on Better Listen with a three-tracker packed to the rafters with warmth, soul and groove. Check first A-side "Adjust Your Love", a sample-fired workout that effortlessly joins the dots between disco, deep house and star-kissed jazz-funk, before turning your attention to the chopped-and-screwed samples, toasty sub-bass, languid beats and echoing piano snippets of "Easy Love Dub". The Bristol-based producer rounds things off in fine style via "Horizons", a slightly bouncier house cut that makes great use of some bluesy piano samples and another stoned, glassy-eyed bassline.
Review: District of Columbia-based deep house imprint Better Listen has barely put a foot wrong since launching late last year. Predictably, their latest missive, which comes courtesy of rising star Dorsi Plantar, is another beauty. Title track "Everlast" opens proceedings via jazzy, jammed-out pino riffs, dewy-eyed electronic flourishes and dusty deep house beats, before "You're Solid as Fuck" re-focuses attention on a chopped-and-looped deep house/jazz-funk fusion. Flip to the B-side for the grandiose orchestration of disco-house pumper "Fool's Gold" and the near-Balearic sweetness of sun-soaked chunky house closer "Babesonite", which comes on like a disco-house enthusiast's tribute to Pepe Bradock's "Deep Burnt".
Review: Lyon soulboy Ethyene continues to rise in style with four deliciously silky, hazy house gems. Deep rooted in all the right foundations (particularly Paris and Chicago's take on the movement) the sense of timelessness seeps through every cloudy pad, every slo-mo jack and every sultry vocal. The prize piece here is the absolute soul surging opener "Why My Love" with longtime friend Folamour but every track commands attention - both from you and your dancefloor. The filtered finesse of "Loneliness Of The Shadow Dance", the cascading vocal honey drips of "Playin' With Fire" and the jazzier shuffles and deep confessional funk of "I Sold Yayo To Buy Kicks". Honest.
Review: Sheffield's Thatmanmonkz returns with the Feels Trip To The District EP, where he teams up with his good pal Martin Miguel. The record is inspired by several trips to dope parties in the District of Columbia, home of the quickly rising label Better Listen Records. Starting off with the the lo-slung disco deepness of "Sweetiez Fresh", it's a dusty and looped up jam that will appeal to fans of the Robsoul sound. On the flip, things take a well funkier and more soulful turn with that familiar vocal on "The Assassinator" and finally things end on a groovy and sun kissed note with the slo-mo/hip-hop inspired boogie of "XDC". Real name Scott Moncrieff, he's appeared previously on a who's who of labels such as Delusions Of Grandeur, Kolour LTD and Classic in recent times.