2009: The labels, and thanks!

December 31, 2009 in Singles

Right, we’re nearly at the end of our 2009 round-up… and nearly at the end of 2009, come to that!

LABELS
What’s been most interesting about doing this round-up has been looking back and going, fuck, there was a lot of great music this year! And some of those responsible – again with the emphasis mostly on the newer names, in no order and with no overall winner – were:
Deep Class
Drumpoet Community
Cabrio/Ceremony
Defchild
Acryl Music
Lost My Dog
O.O.R.S
Prismatic
Compost Black Label
Bounce House
So Sound
Elevation
Star-Fi Recordings
1Trax
Seamless Black Label
Front Room
Baker Street
Soulstar/Clubstar
Murmur
Tirk/Nang
Freerange
Vibration
I’m sure I’ve forgotten loads but those are some of the labels I’ve been feeling the most in 2009, as well as the bigger/more established names like Salted, MN2S, Purple Music, Get Physical, Crosstown Rebels and Gigolo who’ve all had good years. Special mention also to Soul Jazz and BBE for some great compilations, and to the mighty King Street Sounds for keeping the true house music flag flying like no other!
And finally, this is the last post of TIWWD’s first year, so now seems like a good time to give a shout to those whose support for this fledgling, spasmodic and extremely self-indulgent blog has been muchly appreciated! Thanks go to everyone who sends me tunes, of course, but mostly they’re sent for my iDJ attention: the following have been, more particularly, supportive of this blog and/or have helped in some way to make it happen. So,
THANKS TO
Ian Straker @ Kahua, Jon Bishop @ MeOnTheDancefloor, John Bourne, Massive G (Mystikos Quintet), JV Chamary, Matthew Bandy, Ruoho @ Defchild (don’t worry it’s coming!), all the PRs, labels and artists who said thank you for a TIWWD review instead of whining that it didn’t go in iDJ, speaking of which Chris K for not vetoing the idea in the first place, YOU for reading of course especially my 10 (count ’em!) loyal followers, and last but not least my man JoeB @ King Street, without whose encouragement I might never have got this blog off the ground.
Right, that’s it from me for 2009! Big love and a happy new year to one and all – see ya on the other side.

2009: The producers

December 31, 2009 in Singles

Next up, the TIWWD roster of those that rocked it in 2009. Note that I’ve stuck pretty much to breakthrough artists here, so no disrespect to the more established players.

Some of these haven’t appeared in the singles/albums lists cos it wasn’t so much one tune that did it as just being consistently great… oh and this time I’m not gonna pick an overall ARTIST OF 2009, either. They’re all winners…

Edmund
If there was gonna be a winner, Edmund might well be it. Start paying more attention to this superlative producer now!
Karol XVII & MB Valence
A Polish duo who came out of nowhere and were consistently on fire throughout the ’09.
The Rurals
RIP, sort of, but here for the series of Rural Deep Vibes and Rural Disco Vibes EPs, which were just ace. Look out for the soon-come Rural Soul LP.
Short Bus Kids
Two of the best producers in deep house right now, no question, and getting more eclectic as they get more confident, it would appear. Blow And Hos is still my fave, though. Bumpin’!
Maya Jane Coles and Hannah Holland
A joint mention for the two new ‘first ladies of tech-house’ (bleurgh). That said, don’t overlook Rachel Barton, either.
I Am The Woodstar
Pushing house and techno in strange new directions all year. Check the Linda Kasabian Talks EP, in particular.
Andrew Phelan, Origami & Brown
Released lots of stuff in various combinations this year: up there with Short Bus Kids as the new dons of the left coast
Ntanos & V. Sexion
Two Greek deep/tech house producers who’ve recently caused serious blips on the TIWWD radar, and a top tip for 2010. Check the Fault Day EP.
And, I did say we were gonna focus on new names but shouts out to Kerri Chandler, Dave Lee, DJ T, Faze Action, Yousef, Matthias Heilbronn, Steve Mac and Ralf Gum, who all had pretty good 2009’s, too…

2009: The Albums

December 31, 2009 in Singles

So, albums that rocked TIWWD’s world this year, then… artist albums first:

 

Faze Action – Stratus Energy

(Faze Action)

Tiga – Ciao (Wall Of Sound)

Liquid Stranger – The International Slapstick (Interchill)

Filipsson & Lindblad – A Splendor In The Grass (Nang)

Mystikos Quintet – Wup Bup

(Jersey Blu)

Snuff Crew – Snuff Crew (Gigolo)

Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band – The Remixes (Z Records)

Kikumoto Allstars – House Music (Gigolo)

Namito – 11 (Kling Klong)

ATP – Energy Currency (Vibration Records)

The XX – xx (Young Turks)

 

But there can be only one, as the saying goes… and while the Faze Action, Liquid Stranger and Kikumoto Allstars albums all got mucho plays, without doubt the ALBUM OF 2009 for me was

 

The Phenomenal Handclap Band – The Phenomenal Handclap Band (Tummy Touch)

Just ace. Rooted in disco but eclectic in the extreme, this was like the sound of the 1970s rolled into one glorious mirrorball. Saw them live and they were ace, too. If you can’t be arsed scrolling down, here is what I said back in June. Still stand by every word.
 
Dance music revolves as much around compilations and mix albums as it does artist full-lengths, though, so here’s the TIWWD selection for 2009
 
DJ Spinna presents The Boogie Back (BBE)
Horse Meat Disco (Strut)
Deep House Part 1 (Soulstar)
Cielo: Playtime (Tommy Boy)
Liquid Allsorts (Allsorts)
In The Night Vol 2 (Acryl)
Kevin Saunderson: History Elevate (KMS/Fabric)
This Is What The Universe Sounds Like (Universal Vibe)
Locked In The Vinyl Cellar: Joey Negro (Z Records)
Singles 2008-2009 (Soul Jazz)
West Coast Wanderers (Peng)
House Session Vol 3 (Large)
One Dub (Interchill)
 
But again, there can be only one winner, and the COMPILATION OF 2009 gong has to go to:
 
Drumpoems Volume 2 (Drumpoet Community)
The Compost-related Drumpoet Community outta Munich has been one of my favourite labels this year. If you want to know why, check for this completely blimmin’ brilliant album showcase. If you claim to love house music, you need this in your life, end of!
 

2009: The Tunes

December 31, 2009 in Singles

Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the least eagerly anticipated year review thingummy since that family newsletter you get every Xmas from the people you lived next door to in 1974. Truly it’s a show with pretty much nothing, not even Yul Brynner.

See, I had all sorts of big high-falutin’ plans but you know how it is… still, it IS the end of the year so as TIWWD approaches its first birthday, it would seem a little bit remiss not to do some sort of obligatory looking back thing. I’m not gonna attempt the whole decade, cos that’d be too much like hard work, but here’s some of the tunes, people, albums and labels that have made 2009 a better place to be for me:
TUNES
Let’s start with some tunes that haven’t been mentioned on here before cos I reviewed them in iDJ:
Chieko Kinbarra – Changed My Life (King Street)
Daley Padley & Fribbs – Open Minds (Phonetic)
Jamie Jones – Summertime (Crosstown Rebels)
Chris Wadsworth – Mainline (Hypercolour)
Marshall Jefferson pres Ragtyme – Raindance (Z Records)
Joe & Will Ask – Fabric Of Win (Gulp)
Dave Storm – Acid Bath (Cabrio)
Martin Eyerer & Benno Blomme – Pianoroll (Great Stuff)
This Is Massive – Still Hope For Jackson (Hysterical)
Akabu – Sax My Bitch Up (Z Records)
Dennis Ferrer – Hey Hey! (Objektivity and then Defected)
Stephanie Cooke – Thinkin’ I’m Beautiful (King Street)
Freaks – U Make No Sense (Crosstown Rebels)
Full Intention – Once In A Lifetime (Full Intention)
Siopis – Really Love Ya (Get Physical)
Goshi Goshi – The Lock Shot (Southern Fried)
Cut La Rock – Classic (Rocstar)
Snuff Crew – Berghain (Gigolo)
Next, some tunes that WERE covered on this very blog:
Brown & Andrew Phelan – Gimme A Beat (Prismatic Tracks)
Divas Of Color – One More Time (King Street)
Dekata Project – The Viral EP (Doshiwa)
Time & Space Machine – Children Of The Sun (Tirk)
Skism – Rise Of The Idiots (Wicky Lindows)
The Layabouts feat Kathy Brown – Choices (MN2S)
Forensics – Exile (Eight:FX)
Ralf Gum & Monique Bingham – Little W.12th Street (GOGO Music)
Juan Atkins & Kimyon – Work For Money (All About)
Rene Breitbarth – It’s All About Doris EP (Deep Data)
YSE – A Life Sentience EP (Lost My Dog)
Right this is taking up more space than I thought, so I’m gonna break it up I think. But before I go, let’s have an overall winner. Tune of the year? Well the YSE and Siopis singles are both pretty damn freakin’ brilliant but they’re a bit too new to call… and the Goshi Goshi tune has had lots of rinseage round TIWWD Mansions but it is a bit silly, innit? So the TUNE OF 2009 AWARD has to go to…
Polar Pair Vs Atlantis – This Is What Happens
This Underground Resistance track came on like Gil Scott-Heron making deep techno and has had probably more plays by me than anything else this year. Just awesome – and sadly overlooked it would appear. So hunt it down.
Oh and do you get the picture at the top now? I don’t need drugs, I’m crazy enough as it is, etc. Next, albums…
**UPDATE! As you’ll see from the Comments, below, the label kindly got in touch with a link so you can HEAR THIS for yourself – just click here

Fusion F & Come T – World EP

December 28, 2009 in Singles

Previous releases from this Polish duo have apparently found favour with the likes of Digweed, Fanciulli, Cattaneo and Warren. That, coupled with the fact that the World EP is on What Happens, should give you some idea of what to expect: deeper vibes from the prog/tech end of the spectrum.

 

Panama is indeed a deep, rolling groove in classic proggy style, that reminds me a little of Age Of Love. Siberia is a little more contemporary-sounding/Berlin-ish, being an altogether sparser affair topped off with rather disconcerting spoken male vocal samples (eg, “just to give you one last joyful memory before you die”). Y’know when you hear a mix album by the likes of Howells or Lawler, or indeed the aforementioned Hernan C, and the first half-hour is always nice deep vibes? Well, that’s the kind of tackle we’re talking about here. And it’s out on Jan 11.

 

About: What Happens is the label run by Tim Andresen – perhaps Denmark’s biggest DJ, and a former iDJ correspondent don’tchaknow? – with a neat line in tech-house and deep prog. More info at their website and they’ve also got a MySpace where you can HEAR THESE TRACKS.

Various – Relations EP

December 28, 2009 in Singles

This is a digital-only label sampler from murmur, the still-relatively-newish London-based imprint run by Geddes, the young producer who as I recall still had a first name when he used to work in PR. It’s a five-track affair, with five different artists involved, and it’s well worth investigating.

 

Talking Props, AKA Brazilian newcomer Diogo Accioly, delivers a real deep house gem in the form of Catraio, while Tom Demac and Mic Newman serve up a couple more decent deep groovers, to wit Find Another and The LOVELY Whore (their caps) respectively… the former continuing the recent trend towards the return of soulful vox, the latter having just the tiniest hint of the E2:E4’s about it. Geddes’s own Rom is quality, too, blurring the boundaries between jazzy house and minimal, and then Inxec & Matt Tolfrey drop a seriously, seriously deep dub techno bomb called Decisions (with the emphasis on the dub).

 

In fact, so high is the quality on offer here that picking a favourite is nigh-on impossible. Right now Inxec & Tolfrey are edging it but that’s probably just cos it’s Sunday morning as I write this… overall though there’s plenty of delights on offer and it’s only been out since Dec 16 so it’s still pretty fresh. Go seek.

 

About: murmur opened for business in 2008, and have since put out stuff by the likes of Bearweasel, Inxec & Matt Tolfrey and Nima Gorji. You can find out more by visiting their website.

The Runners/Enzo Siragusa – Various Artist EP

December 28, 2009 in Singles

One of my most favouritest records in the entire history of the whole world ever ever EVER is Kingdom Come’s Groovy Baby, which came out on the legendary (and now revitalised) Strobe Records back in 1992 – a slab of deep house/deep garage that’s so unutterably soothing and beautiful it does funny things to my spine.

 

I mention this cos for the first couple of minutes, Siragusa’s Himba Raindance sounds just like it… and I don’t mean that in a bad “it’s-a-rip-off” way, I mean in a good “okay so it’s the same piano chords but basically can more people make more records like this, please?” way. It then goes a bit more Balearic-y but that’s okay, for once the hand percussion does actually add something to the track and the chants are used deep in the mix, not right up in your face… think somewhere around classic Orb, A Man Called Adam or A Certain Ratio’s ACR:MCR album, and you’re in the right ballpark.

 

Yeah, generally speaking Himba Raindance is purr-retty damn spiffing in my book. Which this review is rapidly turning into. So just quickly, the other half of this split EP comes from The Runners (AKA Luke Turner and Kevin Cook), and it’s called Ushuaia, and it’s kinda similar and very nearly as good, except here the Afro chants don’t work quite as well…

 

About: This is on Welt Sounds, run by Nima Gorji, and it came out on Dec 20 when most of us were thinking more about buying Christmas presents and cranberry sauce and stuff. Find them on Facebook here or on MySpace here. Enzo Siragusa, meanwhile, is the man behind the Fused parties, which are held in that London on a Sunday and which I’m told are rather popular.

Various – Platform B #11

December 28, 2009 in Singles

Right, first of all, I categorically refuse to believe that Disco & Martini, whose contribution to this four-track EP is the excellent Flatliner, are actually called Gilbert Martini and Joseph Disco. I bet they’re really called Kevin Nogglethwaite and Damian Dull, or something.

We’ll let ’em off though cos Flatliner is ace, the kind of chunky groover that straddles, nay completely ignores the house/techno divide like a young East German in a bad anorak dancing atop the Berlin Wall in 1989. It’s tailor-made for Ibiza terraces but it’ll rock pretty much any spot, to be fair.

Label boss Luetzenkirchen also chips in with two tracks, I House You and Say Say Say, both of which operate in similar territory to Flatliner, albeit they’re perhaps a bit housier (and there’s thankfully no Fab-Macca-Wacky-Thumbs-Aloft samples in the latter, in case you were worried). And finally a little number called Canciones De La Selva rounds out the EP, another Iberican-terrace-friendly, housey-techno-y affair with sparingly used spoken Spanish vox, a fat-ass, hip-shakin’ bassline and some weird out-there noises for people on drugs.

Incidentally I only just recently found out about the whole ‘death of the umlaut’ thing (as in, for instance, why Luetzenkirchen isn’t called Lützenkirchen any more), and I was a bit upset about the whole thing. Come on Germany what are you playing at?! What are shit American heavy metal bands gonna do for that added hint of Teutonic menace in their names, now? Go round calling themselves Gilbert Virgindefiler and Joseph Thorhammer, I guess.

About: This has been out since Dec 14 (I’m so behind the times) on Platform B, which is Luetzenkirchen’s own Great Stuff-affiliated imprint: more info here.

Jellybass – No Love

December 28, 2009 in Singles

No idea when this is coming out, but if you like reggae/dub-tinged vibes it’s well worth checking. Despite the somewhat bizarre lyrical references to buying your Mum flowers for mother’s day.

 

The original is a slo-mo steppa with a toasted vocal from Brother Culture. Think Dub Pistols in skankin’ mode and you’ll know the kind of, er, ting. If the original’s not floating the proverbial boat, however, then you’ve a fair choice of remixes. Jazzsteppa drags No Love into the murkier, sub-heavy realms of dubstep, as does Caper who provides both vocal and instrumental rubs. Finally, the US of A’s DJ Love infuses the original with some party/big beat-style breakbeats and a light dose of very silly scratch noises, the result being a track that’s more summer barbecue japery than red-lit underground dancefloor, but useful nonetheless.

 

About: This on Ali B’s Air Recordings, about whom you can learn more by clicking here.

 

**UPDATE 31/12: Just had an email from the Jellybass chaps AKA Joe & Chix, who’ve kindly sent a link so you can HEAR THIS for yourselves… thanks, Jellybass chaps!!

Santorini – Double Face

December 21, 2009 in Singles

Proper underground house bizniss! And I’m tempted just to stop there, but it’d look funny so…

This EP, which is OUT THIS WEEK, features two mixes of the title track, and two of Before The Flight. The original of Double Face boasts shuffly percussion, some nice Jersey organ stabs and some stabby/snippeted male vox… it’s a heads-down groove that will appeal most to the classic garage heads, while the Oner & Conyu Remix gives it a slightly more contemporary, one-eye-on-Berlin kinda feel as well as adding a crazy JBs-ish funk break halfway through.
 
Before The Flight is more percussive, and most noteworthy for the chopped-up bits of a chorused female vocal that reminds me a bit of (but isn’t) Black Masses’ My Heavenly Stars. There’s some sax doodles and some very sparing organ, too. And finally Bologna newcomer UES remixes Before The Flight and takes it a little deeper, in that he loses some of the clattery percussion (but also the organs, unfortch).
About: This is the third release on Fabio Giannelli’s fledgling District Raw Recordings out of Italy, following previous singles from Yakine and Giannelli himself. Evidence so far suggests it’s a label to watch for… so hit up their MySpace why dontcha, where you can also HEAR the tracks on this EP (well most of ’em, anyway)