Review: Emancipation Avenue is Karega Ani and Swatara Olushola, a pair who pay tribute to the history and tradition of proper r&b with a first release on Music and Power. And they sure make a real impact with "Old School Song", which is built on a kinetic broken beat, with wooden hits and squelchy bass forming a dynamic groove while gorgeous neo-soul vocals soar high above. Informed by the classics but at the same time sounding thoroughly contemporary, it's a real gem. The flipside remix is a steamier and more humid deep house track that is intensely emotive and washes over you in waves.
Review: Reno Ka first appeared alongside the Prince of Chicago house, Terrence Parker, on the mighty Planet E back in 2013 and, although we only heard her vocal talents on the particular EP, we knew that we'd somehow see her soon again. Here she is on the sixth outing from Music and Power with "Where Is The Love?", a smooth and silky house warmer that hangs in the balance between soulful and classic Chicago beatdown; it's one of those for the lovers, and a track that can be appreciated by both DJs and straight-up Saturday evening dancers. There's a dub version on the flipside where, of course, the vocals are stripped back to give more room to the sonics, a gentle sway of cooling synths and echoing flurries of harmonics. A wonderful EP that sits just right with us.
Review: Lavish soul feels from the one and only Trent right here. Having told us about the scientific art of storytelling many years ago, here he returns with his own beautiful yarn about the legend that is Johnny Hammond. Other tales include the sultry, dusky Balearic jam "The Tone" where fretless bass and fluttering brushed drums are the order of the day. Finally "The Place Inside" takes us right out to shore with soft vocal harmonies, light keys and a sense of sunset magic. Salinas crew this one's for you.
Review: While Ron Trent has always tended towards the prolific, his recent release schedule has been particularly jam-packed. African Indigenous Rhythms is his second 12" single of 2017, and contains two sparkling, spacey deep house cuts blessed with subtle Afro influences. We think the real killer is "Power Movement", where the legendary Chicagoan douses a shape-shifting, Afro-influenced rhythm with intergalactic electronics, bubbly motifs, a deliciously jaunty synth bassline, and some seriously woozy vocal harmonies. That said, A-side "The Dawn" is fantastic too, with Trent's gradually increasing the intensity throughout via energy-packed drum machine fills, cascading piano motifs, and darting synth solos.
Review: Music And Power is home to Ron Trent's contemporary material, and by that we mean the best deep house around; music that is ultimately for dancing but that champions a deeply musical style akin to jazz and soul. "Liquid Love", for instance, is a gorgeous meandering of synths and smooth vocals riding high over a chunky house beat, complete with a reprise mix full of Balearic edge as a follow-up. "Sound System Prevail" is a bumpier, more hard-edged and spewing delicate pianos left, right and centre beneath another wave of masterful synth solos. 10 out of 10 from the master of Chicago sexiness.
Review: Chicago house legend Ron Trent still has the magic touch. It's getting close to thirty years since his first releases began trickling out of the second generation of the Windy City's house scene, but the producer and DJ still knows how to lay down the utter truth. "Time & Space" is a classic Trent joint, where the spark is lit thanks to warm glow of dubby beats accompanied by sweet, mesmerising licks of instruments floating in mid-air. "Bass To Love" is as gentle and moving, but the sounds linger towards the higher end of the tune, where driving pads fuse gracefully with cascading synth solos to form a thick and wide-eyed wall of house for the deeper end of the DJ spectrum.
Review: We would never be ones to challenge the importance and authority of Chicago's infamous Prescription label, a project in which Ron Trent played a fundamental role, but his more recent years on the Music And Power label aren't exactly a million miles away. This is true both in sound and general aesthetic, where Trent opts to communicate his thoughts and feelings through the medium of music. "Boogie Down", as the title suggests, is a little more funky and bass-heavy compared to his more usual deep house flex, but it makes for a welcome change to his catalogue, and any boogie made by Ron Trent is just fine with us. On the flip, "In The Light" is full of rigged percussion samples, wavy piano keys, and a jazzy bass tone, in what makes for a splendidly groovy disco-house cut. Lovely, as always, and you'll dig this if you're a fan of Kyle Hall and his output on Wild Oats.
The IT - "Months Of Mays" (feat Harry Dennis) (6:48)
Spaces & Places - "New Rivers" (part 4) (9:56)
Review: According to the information given to us by the label, Attitude is "the first 12" from the forthcoming compilation series What The Fuck Do You Know About Deephouse". Regardless of whether this is actually the case, the three tracks showcased here are superb. Ron Trent is in exceptional form on A-side "Wet", a synth-heavy, head-in-the-clouds chunk of Detroit techno influenced deep house that's as evocative and emotion-rich as we've come to expect from the Prescription co-founder. On the B-side, The IT joins forces with Harry Dennis on the sublime, organic deep house beauty that is vocalist "Months of Mays", before Spaces & Places delivers the breathtakingly picturesque "New Rivers (Part 4)", which boasts a ragged, acid-influenced bassline and some wonderfully breezy piano solos.