Review: The EEE series may utilise a very simple blueprint - each single-sided, one-track release combines tasty, 21st century tech-house grooves with vocal lifts and instrumental samples from a classic cut - but so far, the publicity-shy producer behind it has yet to put a foot wrong. This ninth instalment in the ongoing series is every bit as alluring as its predecessors, in part because the headline-grabbing Nina Simone vocal samples are used sparingly and dropped into the mix for maximum impact. They mainly appear within the melodious, smile-inducing breakdown, before making way for a return to the track's chunky, seemingly squeezable tech-house groove and sweet, glassy-eyed lead lines. On paper it shouldn't work, but it really does, making this another must-check EEE release.
Review: Taken from a trio of 45s from the Vong45 record label, here the West Loop collective remake some of their favourite soul, jazz and funk tracks. This release in the series has West Loop remaking the original foundation to the A Tribe Called Quest masterpiece 'Electric Relaxation' - 'Mystic Brew' as recorded by Blue Note keyboard player Ronnie Foster in 1972. Featuring all live instrumentation including some fierce Hammond organ vamps, a deep rich bassline and a vibrant electric piano solo, West Loop revitalise the jazziness of the original on 'Part 1' but move into a funkier direction with 'Part 2' on the flip. Perfect 45 territory for the funk and hip hop DJs.
Oops! I Did It Again (Ospina Deep club mix) (6:02)
Lucky (Jason Nevins mixshow edit) (5:52)
Stronger (Mac Quayle club mix) (7:52)
Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know (Hex Hector radio mix) (4:04)
You Got It All (4:08)
Girl In The Mirror (3:36)
Walk On By (3:31)
Review: Britney Spears is currently embroiled in some tough legal battles with her father - her life is a far cry from the pop superstar who broke through in the late 90s. But the music she made back then still bangs, especially when remixed by a selection of names such as those found on this special Record Store Day 2020 collection. It also features lesser known B-sides as well as big room house reworks from Mac Quayle, hi-NRG bangers from Hex Hector and plenty more besides.
Letta Mbulu - "Kilimanjaro" (The Revenge edit) (5:49)
Joey Negro Presents The Sunburst Band - "The Secret Life Of Us" (The Reflex Revision) (7:13)
Review: Z Records founder Dave Lee continues to celebrate 30 years of his iconic house and disco label with an ongoing series of various artist EPs. The fourth instalment is another belter opened up by the boss himself in Disco Blend form. He serves up libidinous synths and steamy vocals that get you on your toes and then sinks into a smooth and seductive deep house mould for his remix of Mistura's 'Smile. On the flip, disco don The Revenge works his magic on a lush afro disco cut and then comes a The Reflex version of The Secret Life Of Us which has big strings and a tight rhythm section all bringing the sunshine.
Review: The Masaala label are laying claim to a unique curio from the '90s here, unearthing the forgotten sounds of Cutmaster Singh from Leicester. This unsung DJ legend was amongst those trying to fuse acid house and bhangra, and on this 12" we're treated to a selection of edits that do a mighty fine job of crossing the cultural divide to bring the infectious energy of Indian music into a dancefloor context. First up is a dubplate from 1994 titled 'Acid Agah', which rides a bubbling 303 and resplendent strings to create a jaw-dropping showpiece. 'Rani' is steeped in bashy '80s drums and more of that lysergic throbbing, offset by a stunning female vocal, while 'Nachdi Drums' unsurprisingly leans in hard on percussion to whip up a frenetic energy that is as much techno as it is bhangra. 'Balle Shava' takes things back to a kind of new beat freakiness which will appeal to old-skool diggers looking for something spicy in their sets.
Review: So, how long have you been waiting for this one to drop? The answer really depends on two things - whether you've just been waiting for new long form material from the UK IDM legends Autechre, or whether you've been waiting for Autechre to put a proper album together that stays true to the principles and format of a 'proper album', as this does.
Either way let's just say Signs has been some time in the making, and it's definitely a case of payoff for patience. For the most part it's the waves of space age melody that really stand out, tracks like 'Esc Desc' seem to fill the room with bands of sci-fi harmony. Of course there's plenty of glitch and bleep here, too - the stepping 'Au14' is a case in point - alongside rumbling, bass-heavy business like 'Si100', where playful drips of percussion create a juxtaposition of innocence and menace.
Review: Dynamite Cuts latest double seven-inch presentation takes us back to 1973, and James Brown's often-overlooked soundtrack to Blaxploitation crime movie "Black Ceasar", a set previously described by one critic as "a full-frontal funk attack". What we get is four of the soundtrack's strongest cuts: electric piano solo-laden funk shuffler "Blind Man Can See", one of Brown's most celebrated and best-loved songs, "The Boss" (sample lyric: "look at me, what do you see? A bad mother!"), the softly sweet, strings-and-solo laden breeziness of "White Lightning", and the crunchy heavy funk strut of "Make It Good To Yourself". As the old saying goes: all killer, no filler.
Review: Record Store Day 2020 keeps on serving up the gems even weeks after the official date itself. Here we're presented with the debut release on Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons now seminal Def Jam label. It's a vital release that truly shook the world thanks to its dark and evil bass and raw, hard hitting percussion and has never before been released on 7". It is a true collector's item for raw hip hop heads and features the ground-breaking 'Scratch Party Death Mix' as well as coming with its own fully iconic sleeve. Drop this one and step back to watch the club go right off.
Review: Sometimes known as Park Rangers, Japanese outfit Inokashira Rangers are the world's leading purveyors of unlikely, Hammond-heavy reggae cover versions. Since first emerging five years ago, they've served up countless surprise reggae takes on tracks from the likes of Pharrell Williams, Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Underworld. Here they continue on a similar theme by re-imagining New Order's throbbing, surging dancefloor anthem 'Blue Monday' as a cheeky chunk of turn-of-the-'70s rocksteady goodness. As usual, the band's organist is in fine form, playing mazy solos that track the vocal melody found on Bernard Sumner and company's 1983 original. Over on the flip they serve up something slower and breezier: a languid rocksteady interpretation of Simon & Garfunkel's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', this time utilizing plenty of Wurlitzer organ sounds. Ace!
Review: In recent times, a number of labels have begun serving up must-check reissues of essential street soul singles and albums from the late 80s and early 90s. The latest to get the treatment is 'Garden of Life', the sole album from Secret Touch (a largely forgotten collaboration between producer Robert Charles Roper and honey-voiced vocalist Duval). 29 years on from its initial release, the album has lost none of its obvious allure, something we put down to the sparse but emotion-rich dreaminess of Roper's relatively lo-fi, loved-up production, and the unashamed sweetness of Duval's vocals. The set contains some typically slow and groovy street soul songs, as well as a string of more gently upbeat numbers heavily influenced by early US deep house.
Review: To close the 3 EP reissue series of Neville King and Lee Laing's King & City label, the all female group Charisma are presented with their summer infused Lovers cut, Everything Is Fine.
Three Lewisham friends, Angela Richardson on lead vocals, with Geselle and Janie backing, were active from 1982 to 1990, but are really remembered for the early recordings made with Neville King. Their debut, Everything Is Fine rides the Lovers sound at its peak. Written with One Blood's Lloyd Robinson, with the rest of band of Robinson brothers providing the rhythm section, this is pure South London sound system music.
Recorded again at TMC (Tooting Music Centre) Recording Studios - working alongside the likes of Dillinger, Tradition and New Musik - Everything Is Fine rides a beautiful soul reggae rhythm as Trevor (Drums) and Lloyd (Bass) Robinson set the foundations, while One Blood provide the Dub mix.
A true love's lament, a song of hope, serenity and pure vibes. Label head Chuggy slides behind the mixing desk for an extended Discomix that stretches, loops and dubs the vocal and dub back forth, to close a glimpse at this uniquely British phenomenon, taking reggae closer to it's heart and soul.
Vincent Floyd - "Meditation" (Deep88 remix) (6:55)
Brad P - "Time Machine" (6:35)
Brad P - "Time Machine" (Derek Carr remix) (6:59)
Review: Chubby's third volume of split EP goodness welcomes two seasoned veterans of the deep to spin some yarns, with a couple of equally sagely remixers on board too. Vincent Floyd takes up the A side with the beautifully lilting house haze of "Meditation". Deep88 takes the original and gives it a more forthright set of drums - a more visceral jack for those who love the mellow moods but want some bite for the floor. Brad P's "Time Machine" is a typically refined trip into the undergrowth with gorgeous techno synth lines flitting around a warm and easygoing groove made all the sweeter by a little broken beat kink.
Review: Little is known about Human Race and their mysterious, self-titled debut single, other than they were the house band at the Continental Club in Miami, Florida, during the late 1960s. Their sole single, which slipped out on a tiny label at the turn of the 70s, has long been sought after by collectors. Having first been reissued in 2002, it has now been given a fresh pressing. It's well worth picking up, not least for the languid and laidback title track, where scat-style vocals and glistening guitars ride a groove rich in deep, weighty bass guitar, shuffling drum-breaks and ear-catching hand percussion. As it did on previous releases, the track comes backed by an even slower, more laidback instrumental number, the sweltering, sax-laden soul sweetness of 'Grey Boy'.
Review: Second time around for the Soul Surfers' superb cover of jazz-funk classic 'Summer Madness', which first hit stores in September 2019. This time round, it comes pressed on gold-coloured vinyl, though you'll have to act fast to secure a copy. It's worth doing just that though, because it sees the Californian act re-imagining one of the smoothest and most seductive cuts in the Kool & The Gang canon as a languid chunk of laidback instrumental soul complete with crunchy drums, elongated lead guitar solos and some suitably spacey analogue synth sounds. The luscious and lazy A-side version is backed by a 'Part Two' take that's a little more stripped-back, raw and heavy.
Johnny & The Attractions - "Coming On The Scene" (2:49)
The Itals - "Dawn Patrol" (2:35)
Willie Lindo & The Charmers Band - "Drum Song" (3:48)
The Hardy Boys - "Black Out" (3:15)
Dave Collins - "Smooth & Sorts" (3:19)
Hippy Boys - "Nigeria" (3:28)
Audrey - "You'll Loose A Good Thing" (2:41)
Review: Since launching late last year, Harlem Shuffle Records has reissued a string of killer reggae recordings from the 1960s and 70's. Here the imprint offers up its first compilation, a 14-track selection of early reggae, dub and rocksteady hand-picked from the vaults of such legendary labels as Black Swan, Blue Cat, Duke, Doctor Bird, High Note and Trojan. It's a fine and hugely entertaining collection all told, with highlights including the easy, laidback skank of Stranger & Patsy's 'Tell it to Me', the trumpet-laden instrumental shuffle of 'Walk With Des' by Des All Stars, the Hammond-powered dancefloor heaviness of Clancy Collins' 'Brother Moses' and the prototype dub brilliance of 'Black Out' by the Hardy Boys.
Review: Thanks to a kindly YouTube algorithm, Alfa Mist's first album Antiphon spread far and wide and eventually made it on to wax (and has since been re-pressed seven times). Now the pianist is a core part of the ongoing jazz revival we're seeing in the UK. In 2014, before all that, though, he worked with Emmavie on this gorgeous EP of jazz tinged neo-soul. Its re-release has been much anticipated and it sounds as fresh now as ever, with lush chords and romantic late night grooves accompanied by heart-aching vocal work. It's a modern classic that reveals more on each listen.
Review: Wayfaring sound explorer Sw. is best known for his stellar stints on SUED, Acido and Apollo (often alongside Svn) but he's also got firm roots in the illustrious world of Kimochi. Area's oddball label is a perfect fit for Sw.'s roaming, inquisitive approach, where scuffed sound design exploration sits alongside subdued garage and red-lining electronica faces off with melancholic '80s hauntology. For the bold DJs, there are certainly potential bangers folded into the mysterious fabric of this record, but as with all things Kimochi the overall mood looks past functional dance music while celebrating many of its tropes.
Now That I Have You (original Soundtrack '81 version) (5:33)
Now That I Have You (original Soundtrack '86 Hip Kik version) (4:54)
Stay With Me (original Soundtrack '81 version) (2:51)
Now That I Have You (original '86 Hip Kik instrumental version) (4:52)
Review: 'Now That I Have You' is simply one of the sweetest and most effortlessly lovely songs in the Tommy McGee canon. The artist himself certainly thought so, because he recorded it a number of times during the 1980s. This essential reissue boasts all of the best versions, starting with the brilliantly produced and performed 1981 original version, which we firmly believe to be one of the greatest cosmic soul tracks of all time. Arguably even better though is the 'Hip-Kik' version from 1986, a jauntier and more rubbery-sounding affair that replaces much of the instrumentation with drum machines and synthesizer sounds. The EP also boasts an instrumental version of this killer re-make nestled on the flip, along with a more laidback 1981 recording, 'Stay With Me'.
Review: The Live Band, a disco-soul/jazz-funk outfit helmed by bassist and vocalist Kenny Chavis, released a swathe of singles and a sole album on The Sound of Brooklyn in the early 1980s. Perhaps their most potent track was 'A Chance For Hope', an emotive, two-part plea for change that opened their 1982 debut album. On this first ever seven-inch pressing the order of the tracks has been reversed, with the swelling, scene-setting orchestration and atmospheric field recordings of the shorter 'Prelude' version appearing on the flip. That leaves the main vocal version, a superbly soulful chunk of boogie-era dancefloor soul rich in addictive grooves, sweeping strings and eyes-closed vocals courtesy of Chavis, rightfully nestling on side A.
Curumin Chama Cunhata Que Eu Vou Contar (Todo Dia Era Dia De Indio) (3:23)
Rio Babilonia (4:30)
Review: Astonishingly, this is the 80th instalment in Mr Bongo's brilliant Brazil 45s series. Predictably, this edition is every bit as essential as its predecessors. It boasts two superb 1980s recordings by one of the true legends of Brazilian 20th century music, Jorge Ben. On the A-side you'll find the lengthily titled 'Curmin Chama Cunhata Que Eu Vou Contar (Todo Dia Erza Dia De Indio), a synth-splashed samba-funk tribute to the indigenous tribes of Brazil that was first featured on Ben's 1981 album Bem-Vinda Amizade. Turn to the flip for 'Rio Babilonia', a killer Brazilian boogie joint rich in squelchy synth bass, heady Latin percussion and fiery horn arrangements courtesy of the late, great Lincoln Olivetti.
Can't Run Away From Yourself (Holloway remix) (5:27)
Can't Run Away From Yourself (Holloway dub) (5:24)
Badman (0113 remix) (5:47)
Can't Run Away From Yourself (Desert Sound Colony remix) (5:56)
Review: The garage heat continues to fly out of Instinct as Burnski's 2-step-tinted alias gets some serious remix treatment. Holloway takes control on the A side with a remix and dub of 'Can't Run Away From Yourself' that ups the ante in intricate beat craft while maintaining a rolling moody atmosphere and a walloping serving of wobbly bass. 0113 tackles 'Badman' and has fun flinging the core elements around the mix with gleeful abandon, making an utterly rude dancehall wrecker in the process. Desert Sound Colony steps up on the B2 to create a distinctive, breakstep-leaning version of 'Can't Run Away From Yourself' that will get bodies jumping and jiving all over the shop.
Review: More from the cheeky scamps behind the Disco Bits label, an imprint whose releases regularly blur the boundaries between re-editing, re-making and remixing. Here they welcome back imprint regulars Cannon & Mirrorball (we laughed, at least), who once again serve up two guaranteed disco floor-slayers. A-side 'Hot Lovin (Don't Stop, Don't Quit)' sits somewhere between disco-house and hip-house, with excitement-building raps lifted from vintage hip-hop cuts sitting atop a non-stop beat crafted from tooled-up elements from a celebratory disco favourite. As the title suggests, 'Shack Attack' cheekily blends elements from Banbarra classic 'Shack Up' and B-52s hit 'Love Shack', adding some other choice samples to create a tidy, well-made mash-up that sounds tailor-made for disco dancefloors.
Review: It's either the most timely re-issue of 2020 or the most inappropriate. Cast your mind back to when everyone's (or at least most people's) favourite Icelandic woodland sprite power-chill-pop oddities released Takk... Back in 2005 it was a symphony of celebratory, life-affirming walls of sound, the ideal score to an Attenborough documentary. Now it feels a little a painfully poignant and emotionally charged sonic memory of a lost world. Fear not, though, like this album, the good days will return again.
In the meantime kick back and remind yourself how good this record is. Not quite on a par with the preceding LP, ( ), which took this unique troupe from obscurity to global stardom by way of soft yet subtly gargantuan harmonious arrangements, here the songwriting and craft is more traditional, and certainly better suited to platforms like radio. Nevertheless, the tracks are no less beguiling, bewitching or intoxicating.
Review: A collaborative project involving Marc Ertel, zake and Damien Duke, Dawn Chorus & The Infallible Sea's music certainly matches the intriguing name the team decided to come up with. Tunes are deep, immersive and easily capable of conjuring some pretty wild dreams of fantastical places and mythical things.
Sheets of shimmering synths seem to glint like the sun is hitting them as they weave through tracks like 'Dormi Bene, Spirito', 'Silenzio Potente' and 'Caduta Del Cielo'. 'Lontana' drowns us in submerged note refrains, ebbing and flowing like the tides, a hidden symphony that washes over and through the listener. It's meditative stuff but nothing here lacks direction - you just need to pay close attention to hear the movement in the arrangements, making for a different kind of aural journey, the destination what you make of it.
Review: The Rollover Edit series from Anything Goes reaches volume number 5 with four more fantastic reworks that cover plenty of ground. Lele Sacchi serves up a a folk and Americana tinged version of 'Enzo' that is new age and organic. Jack Torsani takes 'Giorgia' into disco territory with big choruses and crashing hits all forming a strident groove while 'Espresso' delivers a direct caffeine hit in rolling disco form. The best might be saved for last, though, because 'The Duke Arrives (Pyramiden rework)' is a high speed police chase with funky bass and bristling grooves that are alive with great samples.
Review: Apparently it has been six months in the making but finally Kiko Navarro makes a big arrival into the Rocksteady Disco family with the impossibly upbeat and joyous 'E-MA GIN'. It's a tropical and steamy cut with chanting vocals and pounding drums. The whole is on an upward trajectory that sweeps you right off your feet. On the reverse is 'ex & Love Affair', a string-laced disco stomper with a smile as wide as the Atlantic and gurgling cosmic synths that take you on a real adventure. These are two full flavour, brilliantly characterful cuts for any party.
Review: Two years on from his last outing under the DJ Snils alias, Oleg Buyanov AKA Ol buddies up with pal Every Korner (real name Roman Erikona) to help launch the Save the Books label. The Moscow-based pair apparently recorded the four tracks at various points over the last few years. There's an undeniably Balearic feel to proceedings throughout, from the dreamy pads, twittering loon bird samples and new age ambient melodies of 'Intro', to the jazz-flecked Italian dream house drowsiness of luscious and life-affirming closing cut 'Sector 100'. In between you'll find the bustling 'Take Money', where sampled piano motifs and huggable chords ride a chunky, bass-heavy groove, and the sunny broken beat/jazz-funk/deep house fusion of 'Black Box Riddle'.
Jorge Ben - "Ma Ma Ma Ma Mae (A Lingua Dos Anjos)" (4:09)
Cauby Peixoto & Jorge Ben - "Dona Culpa" (3:25)
Review: Mr Bongo's excellent Brazil.45 series digs deeper into the legacy of Jorge Ben, one of Brazil's most famous musical exports and an enduring samba king. Opening up is 'Ma Ma Ma Ma Mae (A Lingua Dos Anjos)' which was originally on his 1980 album Alo Alo, Como Vai? It's a modern sound, with disco inflections and big wind sections, but also some trademark Ben playfulness in the lyrics which speak of flying saucers and angels. O the flip, things slow down and get more steamy and sensuous on 'Dona Culpa' from his Cauby! Cauby!' album of the same year. Two sides, two styles, one irrepressible artist.
Anibal Velasquez - "La Mazamorra Del Diablo" (3:12)
La Francachela - "Mosquita Muerta" (3:07)
El Grupo Folclorico - "Juipiti" (2:25)
King Somalie - "Le Mongui" (3:22)
El Grupo Folclorico - "El Tornillito" (2:30)
Samba Negra - "Long Life Africa" (4:38)
La Banda Africana - "Te Clavo La Mano" (3:01)
Myrian Makenwa - "El Platano" (3:31)
El Grupo Folclorico - "Tucutru" (3:06)
Grupo Bola Roja - "Caracol" (3:27)
El Grupo D'Abelard - "A Otro Perro Con Ese Hueso" (3:25)
Conjunto Barbacoa - "Wabali" (3:16)
Review: German label Analog Africa has long been documenting the more niche musical sounds, scenes and styles of the world. La Locura De Machuca: Barranquilla - Colombia 1975-1980 is in fact their 30th such compilation and tells the story of the South American country's unique Discos Machuca label. It came about after one man's bizarre odyssey into Colombia's coastal music, and across 17 tracks and two slabs of wax it offers up brilliantly raw, rhythmic and percussive music that sounds like little else. It's authentic and aged yet utterly futuristic and brims with character and vitality that transport you to a different world.
Be The Change (feat Carlos Mena - Percapella) (5:00)
Review: Grown up house labels don't come much classier than the eternally on point Freerange. This time out, boss man Jimspter recruits French multi-instrumentalist Laroye for a gorgeous new single that is a real throwback in its rich musicality. Vocals are spiritual, percussion dances, synths are luxurious and the whole groove is filled with a golden sense of house soul. It comes in three varied but equally vital versions and the EP also includes 'Twisted'. This one is much more lively, with pixelated chords spraying about the mix over uptempo house kicks that will pump the party.
Review: London record store Low Company may have closed its doors, but the affiliated label still remains in operation. Their latest release follows up a series of archival releases by the enigmatic Civilistjavel!. Generalstrejk represents the first contemporary offering from the Swedish producer to appear on vinyl. The 20-minute-long title track is a glacial and cavernous expression in ambient techno, derived from live performances given in London and Stockholm in 2019. On the flip, the textural dub aesthetics continue on the Basic Channel influenced 'Bransle For Elden' in between two haunting and introspective soundscapes. Edition of 250 copies, no re-press.
Review: Pixies' 'Hear Me Out' might be one of the most reassuring things we've heard so far this year. Unveiled back in early-September, when the threat of winter's dark nights was nought but a glint of vague concern in the eye of late-summer, the track is typically raw and rolling engine room garage rock business for the band, and proof they remain on very good form following their reformation at the beginning of this century.
At least we can rely on some things, right? A month or so on and finally the full album is ready to have a go at. In all honesty, by this point in a band's career - legends since 1986 - you probably don't need to know much about a record to decide on whether to invest. It's Pixies doing what they do best, and what they do best is usually exactly what the doctor ordered. Take that as you will.
Know You Better (live At C-Boys - bonus track) (5:55)
Eleanor Rigby (bonus track) (5:36)
Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City (bonus track) (4:14)
Review: First released in 2019, the self-titled debut album from multi-instrumentalist Adrian Quesada's Black Pumas band is a glorious homage to the glory days of psychedelic soul in the late 1960s and early '70s. Quesada's authentically old-sounding production and the band's instrumentation draws heavily on the likes of Tower of Power, Sly and the Family Stone, Rotary Connection, Terry Callier and the Chambers Brothers, with mic man Eric Burton providing effortlessly emotive and impassioned vocal performances. This 'deluxe edition' expands the album over a double album and bonus 7", via a series of similarly killer cuts such as 'Fast Car', 'Politicians in My Eyes' and a revelatory psych-rock cover of Beatles classic 'Elanor Rigby'.
A Real Mother For Ya (Ben Liebrand Go To A Disco mix) (5:54)
A Real Mother For Ya (Ben Liebrand Jackin' mix) (5:39)
A Real Mother For Ya (Ben Liebrand Essential mix) (5:53)
Review: Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, was an American blues, soul, and funk musician, singer-songwriter and a more than flamboyant showman who knew how to work his electric guitar. Although he recorded music for over 40 years, his highest chart position came in 1997 with 'A Real Mother For Ya.' Now legendary Dutch remixer Ben Liebrand serves up three subtly different reworks that bring it right up to date and ready to do damage on the dancefloor. The horns, the bubbling bass, the chunky claps, it all adds up to a sure fire disco explosion that oozes funk and musicality.
Review: "So so beautiful" is apparently the phrase contemporary classical hero Ryuichi Sakamoto used to describe the work of Keith Kenniff, AKA Goldmund. The latter's latest, The Time It Takes, certainly fits that bill. A stunning, serene and quietly powerful collection of sonic stories that seem to tell tales of hope, heartbreak, love and loss without resorting to words.
Largely centred on Kenniff's deft piano skills, the keys act as focal points on which bigger and more ethereal arrangements hang. Tracks like 'Of No Other' and 'Day In Day Out' take the producer's minimalist spirit to heart, limiting the scale of background sounds to distant echoed refrains, while 'Memory Itself' and several others embrace the principles of drone ambient with arrangements that seem to develop without us ever noticing. A hushed epic, to say the least.
Review: Following the release of his angular, intense and deep debut album, Krona, on Northern Electronics last year, Evigt Morker decided to take his time before unleashing any new material. 5, his first EP since, arrives 13 months later and offers a starker, more uniformly club-centric sound. Of course, these new productions still boast tons of depth and musical texture, as is proved by the grandiose, slowly rising chord progressions and intergalactic rhythms of 'Lossa De Bunda', and the alien-sounding dancefloor hypnotism of 'Hall I Mig', where tight TB-303 loops and gaseous pads wrap around a locked-in techno groove. The EP's most startling moment, though, is a more rugged and robust affair: the gently psychedelic and intense peak-time techno bustle of 'Slunga Aska'.
Review: There is no producer named Manuel Darquart; in fact, it's a long-distance collaboration between two up-and-coming studio buffs, Louis Anderson-Rich and Sean Whittaker. Their latest EP, a first, high-profile outing on Wolf Music, is simply superb. It sees the pair offer-up a trio of loved-up, saucer-eyed cuts that draw heavily on the sunrise-ready colour of early Italian dream house, the ricocheting machine drums of proto-house and the tactile dreaminess of late 80s New Jersey deep house. Our pick is Don Carlos-esque opener 'Keep It Dxy', though the more Balearic 'Miranda' and bubbly 'Parkour' are not far behind. The EP also boasts a fine bonus in the shape of Medlar's extra-percussive 'Timbales Dub Mix' of 'Parkour', a more intense but no less huggable interpretation tailor-made for peak-time dancefloors.
Review: Minimal groovemaker Chris Stussy and his most regular home label PIV label are inspired by the 90s-era US house sound. Think warmth, soul, and fluid grooves that come with deft samples that speak to the heart. All of those things characterise his latest outing on PIV across four killer cuts. 'Across Ocean' is a breezy, easy to love and timeless slice of house before 'Seeing & Believing' goes deeper, with a vulnerable vocal and neat chords that bring the feels. There is a more biting tech house edge to 'Independent Woman' and lastly Stussy links with Litmus for 'Kaizen,' with its lush synthscapes and cool electronic sound.