Review: The legendary Phil Asher (yes, he of Restless Soul fame) is a DJ, producer and an integral figure in London's dance music community over the last 20 years. He returns for the first time since 2015's Time & Space EP on Rekids, with a bit of help from buddy Dwala for UK based moreaboutmusic: who've released some fine grooves of late by the likes of Mike Dunn and Deep Space Orchestra. A side cut "Sparkle" (AJ's Dance) is a glorious serving of Detroit style hi-tech soul, reminiscent of "Jupiter Jazz" era Underground Resistance with its emotive and euphoric spaciness. On the flip is "Today's Tomorrow" which really brings the funk on this deep joint that's straight off of the mothership. Check it out!
Review: Mike Dunn returns on top form with "DJ Beat That Shhh", a fine slab of warm and rich, '90s style Chicago deep house. While that track is inspired - Dunn rarely puts a foot wrong, production wise - we actually prefer flipside hip-house jack-track "Move It, Work It". It's raw and stripped back in typical Illinois fashion, with the action focused around crunchy drum machine percussion, occasional ghostly chords and a killer TB-303 bassline. The vocal mix comes on like a long-lost hip-house collaboration between Fast Eddie and Phuture, while the Dub strips things back further for greater dancefloor pleasure.
Review: The Lumberjacks From Hell affiliated Hugo H is back after a lengthy hiatus. The Chicago DJ most known for being celebrity Jamie Foxx's DJ (appearing on his show The Foxxhole Radio on the Windy City's Sirius/XM 96) serves up three authentic acid jack tracks like only someone from Chi-town can. Any serious acid house fan would be frothing over these four jams, which respectfully and convincingly capture the sound aesthetic of the city's golden era in the late '80s: when Traxx and Phuture reigned supreme. From the signature glide and legato of that revered little silver box on A side cuts "In, Out & In" parts 1 & 2 respectively, the flip features the sultry late night deepness of "On To Another Time" before he's back to the jackathon again on the boompty and hypnotic shenanigans of "The Beat Goes".
Review: Drum machines, 303s and a few crusty synths is, by the sounds of it, what created Mike Dunn's Acid Chaser EP for Sheffield label MoreaboutMusic. It's the Chicago legend's first release as MDIII since 1993 and, production-wise, not much seems to have changed in those 21 years. Acid. Drums. Grit. It's all here, beginning with the clap-heavy and bouncing squelch-line of "No Chaser". The B-side provides two tracks with the beat down drums of "Acid Feet" sounding as big a Maurice Fulton production, while the 303 bleep of "Club Music World" will draw whoops and cheers from dancers and DJs alike.
Review: The label arm of multi-faceted collective Moreaboutmusic returns with its first release of 2014, the Prisma EP from Italian duo Rio Padice and Massimo De Lena. Ever the winning combination, you know what to expect from these founding members of the Early Sounds label; raw house and techno music that touches the soul as well as the feet. There's a subtle sweetness deep in opening track "Huge N Net" apparent in the intermittent dolphin-esque warbling and glistening chords that acts as a neat foil to the toughness of the groove. "Lost Ones" will probably be the cut that DJs return to, and is a highlight of this release along with the crunchy delight that is "Note Ignote".
Review: 2007 sees the launch of the More About Music label, releasing the hottest new music across a variety of styles. Sheffield based Small Arms Fiya are producers Scott 'Monkz' Moncrieff and Tom 'Toddla' Bell. Their style is a fusion of hip-hop, soul, dancehall, broken beat, UK garage and Detroit techno, fused together to create an innovative and original sound. "Pressure" drops in with beats reminiscent of James 'Yancey' Dilla, with Ayah's soulful delivery adding the finishing touches to the track.
Review: Darren Brandon's story in house music stretches back to the early days of Dance Mania, and since then he has popped up intermittently under various guises on labels including Black Market and Alleviated, assuring the venerable roots of Chicago house run through his musical veins. On this second EP for More About Music there is no shortage of quality outboard soul music to be enjoyed, with a distinctive flair to each track that makes this an essential release. Whether it's the lush Heard-isms of "Dark Minor" or the sassy ghetto acid of "Test Pressing", there's no shortage of quality to be found on this particular 12".