Review: Welcome to the small-but-perfectly-formed vaults of Italian early house imprint Antima's cult "Riviera Traxx" series. Almost all released between '91 - '93 (although there was one last outing in '97) the tracks by the collective capture the crystalline essence of original deep house. Post-Italo, pre-piano, these uncut Italian house gems have been curated by Mona Musique bossman Nick V for a forthcoming mix compilation. For now, we're treated to the sampler where the concrete chugs of the '97-released of "I Have Got It" set the jacking pace before "Tribal Love" whisks us away on a magic carpet made of pads, before the dreamy organs of Subway Ground Master's only ever single "Queensway" bring us back to terra firma... and leave us wanting more. Bring on the full collection.
Review: Parisian groove sculptor Hugo Lascoux returns to his spiritual stomping ground to continue where he left us on the Nick V's label launch release. Gilded instrumentation, fluttering in pace and feel but still popping with a strong kick, there's a strong US twang deep in the blend which Karizma really brings to the fore in his own Kaytronik Mo' Bounce dub. Finally fellow Paris artiste Ambrose concludes the jam with a new hazier, smoochier twist on Hugo's previous Mona slaying session "Drifting Away". Just like their parties, Mona ain't messing.
Centric House - "Alright Alright" (Daydream mix) (6:57)
Underground Ghosts - "Really" (6:44)
Subway Ground Master - "Queensway" (4:11)
Syncopate - "Why?" (Underground) (5:41)
Korda - "Move Your Body" (club remix) (5:40)
Be Noir - "Give Me Your Love" (New York mix) (5:52)
Optik - "Music, Harmony & Rhythm" (6:31)
Review: Like Young Marco and Christiaan Macdonald's "Welcome To Paradise" compilations, this collection from crate-digging DJ Nick V offers a whirlwind trip through the golden years of Italian house in the early 1990s. The vibe is, though, decidedly different; while Nick V does doff a cap to the swirling, "Sueno Latino"-inspired "dream house" sound - see Subway Ground Master's impeccable "Queensway" and the seductive, sunset-friendly deepness of Optik's "Music, Harmony & Rhythm" - much of the compilation focuses on the warm, breezy, colourful and piano-laden "Italo-house" style that drew greater influence from contemporaneous U.S house and New Jersey garage. Highlights are plentiful, from the organ-laden, Jovonn style bump of "Really" by Underground Ghosts, to the growling bass and intense drums of Syncopate's "Why? (Underground)".