Review: Lush deep house with a dash of balearica on the label arm of Switzerland's respected Zukunft Club, following up some great releases by Jimi Jules and Look Like. The grooves this time come courtesy of Pacifica. Comprised of Balint Dobozi and Domenico Ferrari, they follow up a couple of great releases on local imprint Drumpoet Community - and this further refines their trademark sound. "Heaven Machine" is made up of all the right elements: steady beats, heavy bass lines, polyrhythmic synth arpeggios as well as some vocal and electric guitar additions. From the pop-inflected island dream of the title track that features some smooth vocals by one Arvild J Baud, the hypnotic and ethereal groove excursion of "Lochergut" right through to the melancholic yet bittersweet ambient bliss of "Father" - this is a fine release indeed
Review: On previous releases, the Maghreban brilliantly fused a wide variety of global influences - Middle Eastern music, heavy African rhythms, dub, techno, house, cosmic disco and weirdo electronica - to create brilliantly off-kilter tracks that inhabited a sonic realm of their own. He's at it again here, giddily flitting between wonderfully tropical Zouk/house fusion (the bustling drum machine beats and marimba-style synths of "Effendi"), Chateau Flight-esque end-of-days techno insanity (the locked-in weirdness of "Switched On"), skittish highlife/breakbeat business (the surprisingly fuzzy and funky "Finagling") and intergalactic punk-funk dub ("Rocky & Bullwinkle"). It's sometimes hard to keep up with his brilliant musical flights of fancy, but it's a ride you'll want to take time and time again.
Fonda Rae - "Living In Ectasy" (Mood II Swing Groove mix edit) (9:16)
A Bitch Named Johanna - "Freak It" (instrumental) (5:26)
Voices - "Voices In My Mind" (CJ Mackintosh remix) (7:35)
Kerri Chandler - "Ladbroke Grove" (7:10)
Ralphi Rosario - "An Instrumental Need (Club Need)" (6:37)
Gisele Jackson - "Love Commandents" (original vocal edit) (7:52)
Mateo & Matos - "New York Style" (8:07)
Thelma Huston - "All Of That" (Joey Negro club mix) (6:51)
Review: Joey Negro unleashes more funky and soulful house classics as seen on the first volume of this compilation series and there's more where that came from. The legendary Ron Trent remixes his own USG project on "Mcameu" and once you hear that Rhodes piano melody of Bougie Soliterre's "Got That Bug" you'll realise its of those classics you always knew of, just didn't know the name! You can see how sounds on "The Murder Track" by Mike Delgado influenced producers like The Mountain People and still to this day no one makes house music as sexy as Robert Owens, as heard on the classic "Gotta Work"
Review: Back in 2016, Crackazat created a bespoke EP for Z Records in which he blended vocal acapellas from the label's archives with his own jazz-fired deep and soulful house grooves. Three years on, he's decided to repeat the exercise, in the process serving up four more killer cuts. He begins by layering Sunburst Band vocals atop bouncy pianos and rich Latin house instrumentation on "Fly Away", before effortlessly joining the dots between deep house, disco and jazz-funk on the superb "Crystal Eyes". "I'll Be There" is a colossal slab of gospel-tinged revivalist New Jersey garage smothered in weighty organ riffs, while "Some Day" offers a deeper and jazzier spin on the same retro-futurist sound.
Review: Earlier in the year DJ Seinfeld returned to action with the "Galazy EP", a wonderfully spacey, breakbeat-driven affair that arguably contained some of his most mature and developed productions yet. There's more of the same on the "Lilium EP". The title track boasts serious percussive weight - a result of the producer's layering of bongos and congas above a sturdy kick drum pattern - with a trance-inducing synth bassline, fluid electric piano lines and flowery chords providing the loved-up musical accompaniment. He doffs a cap towards both mid 1980s NYC freestyle and Italo-disco on the Bobby Orlando-influenced brilliance of "Lovejoy", whose drums and synth sounds are impressively authentic in their style and execution, while "Exterrestial" is a pleasingly fluid fusion of breakbeat-driven deep house and late '90s style NYC "dark garage".
Review: Having made a name for himself releasing on Dirt Crew, Outernational and the like, Ben La Desh now brings his ranging take on house music to Young Adults with a veritable spread of tones and styles up his sleeve. The EP kicks off with "Afrodesia", which piles the synth pop notes on heavy over a driving rhythm section in a wistful mixture caught somewhere between boogie and techno. "Your Love" follows up with a lounge-friendly diversion that gleefully loops up samples and hooks in a laid back re-edit style, while "We Are" takes that easy-going approach and works into a more searching piece of low slung house music. "Why Don't You" wraps the EP up with a sassy Chicago-esque jam that benefits from the soulful injection Josie Akers vocals bring to the table.
Review: Between 2014 and 2017, DJ Slyngshot's Yappin label delivered some of the most interesting, off-kilter dancefloor excursions around. The imprint has been dormant since, so it's great to see Slyngshot bring it back to life via this 12" from close pal DJ Neewt. There's something particularly inspired about opener "Hymn", where an increasingly intense acid bassline, raygun electronics and trippy electronic motifs wrap around a skewed breakbeat groove. Slyngshot joins in the fun on the deep, tribal and quietly psychedelic thump of "Pearls For Knives" - all dense drums, dub delays and mind-altering motifs - before Neewt finishes things off via the meandering lo-fi synth lines and chugging deep house grooves of "Mud Voices". It's good to have Yappin back, that's for sure.
Review: DJ Slyngshot's resurgent Yappin label is back with a second sizzling EP of 2019 after lying dormant from 2014 to 2017. We couldn't be happier about its return when it is unearthing the mind behind deep house like this latest one from Deesigner. Unsettling opener "Bringin The Funk" is a spaced-out late night rhythm with hints of jungle, and "Too Many LFOs" is a lumpy dub cut with muted, woolly synths sending you all gooey inside. "CY-39" cloys things out with some deft drum work and percolating rhythms that are clean, crisp and weirdly pleasing.
Review: Kiwi duo Chaos In The CBD has been on fire of late, delivering a string of deep and jazzy EPs for such labels as Rhythm Section International, Church, Mule Musiq and Amadeus Records. Predictably, this two-tracker on the freshly minted Youandmusic is equally as inspired. A-side "Global Erosion" is a warm and relaxed affair, despite the presence of rolling, Afro-tinged drums, with delay-laden horns drifting across the mix in evocative fashion. The duo's African influences are brought to the fore on "Global Explorer", a rolling, far-sighted affair full of dreamy deep house pads, twittering panpipe melodies and dense tribal percussion.
Roger Van Lunteren - "On And Dna No (The Sun Riser)" (5:06)
Phil Gerus - "Prelude To Love" (4:37)
Review: The XXX crew are on a mission to celebrate the adventurous and utterly well-informed dance music scene of Amsterdam, and they move to the fourth release on their label with a strong cast of characters that all have something different to say. Alterleo opens up the 12" with the low-throbbing psyche out of "Train To..." before Al Gobi takes over with the aqueous hardware house bubbles of "Rule Of Three". On the B side, Jack Pattern & John Parsley work together to lay down a fierce blend of industrial and disco that will send shivers down your spine. Roger Van Lunteren meanwhile revels in the squelchiest kind of esoteric acid with a new age mystique thrown in for good measure, and then Phil Gerus provides a soothing soliloquy to finish this distinctive record off.
Review: UK bass-heavy deep tech? Outsider rave? Call it what you want, but XL's mission to reconnect with the UK underground is certainly putting in an effort, if recent releases by Zomby, Special Request and Powell are anything to go by. This time they tap Berlin's rising star Hugo Massien. First track "Kontrol" is main room house for mega raves with its massive, razor sharp bassline and repeated refrain of 'mind control!" certain to fuel dancefloor euphoria. "Better Let Her" rewinds back to the early evening, warming things up in nice style on this smooth deep house number. On the flip things fast forward to the peak time on the adrenalised "All Night" featuring 'that' Moodymann sample from RBMA; will it be another Oliver $ moment? Finally "Fahrenheit" is a dark tech house killer reminiscent of early Jamie Jones. The young producer has seemingly emerged out of nowhere, but already on to big things.
Review: It only takes a few seconds of hearing "La Caccia" to know that there's something really special to Entro Senestre's production: a deep house tune that sparkles and makes your brain giddy with excitement. "The Last B-Boy" combines old-school drums with some gorgeous languid synths, while "Glazed" is unique and twisted enough to warrant a genre of its own - horror tech anyone?
Review: Italian producer Reekee is back on his Wrong Notes label with another assured take on the soulful house template, which leads in with the bugged-out funk of "Another Day." Erik Rico's vocals sound on-point for this track, pushing Reekee's production into the stratosphere. "Tell Me Something" keeps the vibe resolutely deep, while "Feel Good" shuffles through a heads down club workout of the highest caliber. You'd be forgiven for thinking this record was landing on a label like Kai Alce's NDATL. Patrice Scott lends his masterful touch to "Another Day", edging the track into a different plain of emotional expression without losing the focus of Rico's vocal.
Italian deep house producer Reekee returns to his own Wrong Notes label with another trip through beautifully rendered, highly musical soulful house. It's little wonder he has been snapped up by labels like Uzuri in the past. "It's Alright" is a track with huge crossover appeal, tapping into the kind of expressive keys that should sit right with soul heads as much as house devotees. The vocals add to the soaring melodic content, making this a life-affirming jam perfect for creating unforgettable, unifying dancefloor moments. Otwo gets busy with the track on the B-side, turning out a daring remix that spaces the core ingredients out with more than a little guidance from the Theo Parrish school of deep-rooted experimentation.
Wurli Things (feat Jacopo Moschetto - original mix)
Review: Having previously appeared on Roots Underground, Reekee kicks off Wrong Notes with yet more grooves that tap into the spirit of truly passionate soulful house. The aptly named Billy Love's vocals aim straight for the heart on "Love Is", with the original mix being especially moving with its lingering jazz chords, string licks and stuttering beat. The "Bluesy" mix has a more traditional deep house feel to it, while "Wurli Things" heads off into expressive Rhodes territory thanks to limber keys work from Jacopo Moschetto. For classically informed house music from the heart, look no further.
Review: Fully tapped into the true US tradition of soulful house music, Riccardo Masi has been delivering the goods for the past couple of years to labels like Uzuri and his own Wrong Notes Records. On this new single the good vibes just keep on flowing, kicking off with Erik Rico's on-point vocal draped over "Reaching". Rico also forms the centre point of "No One Else", another masterclass in pattering drums and honey-coated keys. "Tortellini Jazz" shores up on the B-side, drafting in Paolo Campani to lay down some sultry sax tones over the mellow chords and playful Rhodes trills.
Review: Take a listen to the four cuts that make up Jackson Almond's WotNot Music debut, "Open Your Head", and you'll hear a myriad of influences and musical reference points. That the DJ/producer has managed to get them to compliment each other is particularly impressive. Check, for example, the jaunty U.S garage/jazz-funk/broken beat/Afro-house fusion of "EEYE", for starters, or the sparkling opener "Open Your Head", where glistening guitars and marimba style melodies ride a rubbery synth bassline and rich, life-affirming chords. Almond's love of layered percussion is once again evident on the piano-sporting, sun-kissed deep house shuffle of "Common", while "People, Places, Things in Spaces" sees him pepper a jazzy, off-kilter deep house groove with the kind of spacey jazz-funk synths that were once a hallmark of Herbie Hancock albums.
Review: The latest missive on Teflon Dons' LA-based Worldship Music imprint takes us back to 1994 and the overlooked, U.S Garage-influenced house productions of Greg 'Ski' Royal, a mixing and mastering engineer who can trace his roots right back to the earliest days of the West Coast hip-hop scene. Flipside "Down Fifth Avenue" - an evocative, bass-heavy chunk of bumpin', riff-loaded late night deep house - first appeared on a little-known EP way back in the '90s, but the A-side versions of "Christopher" have never been released before. In its original form, it's a soulful and seductive chunk of vocal garage/house fusion complete with "Show Me Love" style organ riffs. Those intoxicating and alluring motifs naturally come to the fore on the accompanying instrumental mix.
Review: Here comes an eagerly awaited release by a newcomer that is destined to be an underground classic. Coming out directly from the camp of Neuhm from Naples is DJ Fabrizio Fattore: the resident DJ alongside Gigi Testa spreading the underground message through his music. Connected directly to their concept, Fattore makes his debut here on Word Peace Music: their main purpose is to connect both music and culture from all around the world and other galaxies in one universal language. Features the hi-tech jazz of "Planetary Love" that is reminiscent of classic Mad Mike/Underground Resistance, followed by the spiritual life music epic "Enuma" on the B side. It is full of shimmering synth layers and emotive elements - you could imagine the likes of Derrick May or Laurent Garneir playing this one.