Hot Toddy – Late Night Boogie

October 31, 2010 in Albums

Crazy P’s Chris Todd, AKA Hot Toddy, drops his second solo album, a mere nine years after his first one (Supermagic, which came out on Paper).

As the title suggests, the primary point of reference here is early 80s boogie/electrofunk, with a dose of Californian jazz-fusion thrown in (dig that slap bass and those meandering gee-tars), and it’s mostly a midtempo affair, though there are tracks – All Night and bubblin’ acid soul cut Won’t Let Go – that have a housier feel. To be honest, it’s not hugely, HUGELY different from a Crazy P album (a Crazy P album produced by Roger Troutman, maybe?), especially given that fellow P-ers Danielle Moore and Tim Davies guest on two tracks apiece. But then you know how well Crazy P do this kind of stuff, don’t you?
Personal highlights include the very Om-y previous single Down To Love (featuring Jennifer Rhonwen) and Critical, which comes on like car-chase funk for the slowest car chase in history, but it’s a very fine set all round, I think you’ll find…
Out: This week
About: This is actually the first album on Smoke And Mirrors, which is a new Om offshoot. Not quite sure what the remit is but anyway you can HEAR THE ALBUM (or even buy it) here.

Various – The Sound Of Amsterdam Vol 1

October 30, 2010 in Albums

Released last week to coincide with ADE 2010, this is the first label compilation from the excellent Dutch label 90watts. And, just in case you didn’t know what to expect, it helpfully says “The city of tech-house” on the cover.

What you get, then, are 10 tuff, techy groovers from a whole bunch of names you’ve probably never heard of before… which is about as good as a label comp gets in my books! If you like it dark, heads-down and driving but still quantifiably house and still with the requisite sinewy funk, you’ll be more than happy with this. Standouts for me include Philip Young Vs VMH’s Oysters In The Basement and Angelo Donorio’s bass-pulsing opener Kind Of Music.
Out: Last week. I did say this was a bit of a catch-up!
About: You can PREVIEW THIS ALBUM here, or find out more about 90watts generally here.

Groove Junkies – In The Zone

October 28, 2010 in Albums

Well then… it seems like, just for once, I’m not massively behind with anything work-wise. So now seems like a good time to catch up with some of the better albums I’ve been sent recently that didn’t make it into iDJ. Let’s start with this one.

And what a saga it’s been with it! First it was about to drop – I got sent the original mixdown nearly two years ago. Then the GJs parted company and it wasn’t coming out; then Evan announced he was carrying on the GJs name single-handed, and the album would come out after all; and now, finally, here it is, remastered and rejigged and re-whatever-else’d.
Now then, I’ve gone on record as having fallen a bit out of love with soulful house over the past year or so, but I’ve gotta make an exception for this… not just cos Evan is a mate, but because the Groove Junkies (in their original two-piece form) always did the trad, uplifting thing better than most. As such, at a time when not so many people are doing soulful house, they’re now doing it FAR better than most.
Besides, you may not be of like mind to me (people sometimes aren’t, bafflingly). You may be constantly bemoaning the lack of traditional uplifting, soulful, vocal house goodness to be found in ‘record stores’ these days. If so, then you need this SO badly, believe. It doesn’t veer far from the GJs’ usual blueprint, true, but, y’know… read what I just said in the last paragraph!
So yeah, no more waffle, check this if your tastes are on the soulful side. Or if, like me, they’re not so much any more… check it anyway. S’good.
Out: Now
About: MoreHouse can be found online here.
PS And for anyone who’s wondering what Parrish is up to these days… watch this space, cos I can tell you the big man hasn’t thrown in the towel just yet either!

Gregory Isaacs RIP

October 26, 2010 in Singles

Genuinely saddened today to hear Gregory Isaacs has died.

One of my favourite live gig memories ever, is seeing Gregory Isaacs and Dennis Brown at the Nia Centre in Hulme/Moss Side circa 199…3? 4? 5? Thereabouts, anyway. When the Cool Ruler came on, he got mobbed on stage by screaming girls… only the girls in question were, like, 50yo Jamaican women. Watching these hyowge Jamaican arses in their best Sunday floral church dresses trying to clamber onto a four-foot stage was just hilarious, bless ’em.
Anyway, maximum respect to a true legend, and to honour his passing here’s what’s always been my favourite Gregory Isaacs tune.

Free dub goodness!

October 24, 2010 in Singles

Another freebie today just to be tiding you over while I do some actual work… this time in a dubwise style and, indeed, fashion.

Out last week, Wickedman is the new single from Dubloner and Isaac Haile Selassie. There are four mixes in total, and the good folks at De’fchild are kindly giving away the Kush Arora Remix for free: it’s a collision between traditional dub and dubstep, and not to be missed…
Out: Last week. I just said that. Do keep up.
About: De’fchild is a wicked label based in San Francisco, operating in a hinterland somewhere between deep house, deep techno, dub and other forms of leftfield electronica. Find out more – and download a ton of free mixes n’ stuff – at their website.
**UPDATE 26/10: Just in case anyone read this in that past couple of days and wondered who Fred Dub was, obviously that was meant to say ‘Free’, not ‘Fred’. Doh. It does now.

FREE Nick Thayer remix of Duck Sauce

October 23, 2010 in Singles

As Barbra Streisand by Armand and A-Trak is everywhere at the moment, and as I’m busy DL’ing stuff and reviewing for iDJ this weekend, thought I’d share this to keep you going – a Nick Thayer remix you can download for free (click on the arrow to play, or the link below it to DL).

If you like this, then a) don’t forget Nick’s debut full-length Let It Go is out now on Passenger and b) post a comment and I might just share some more download links…

Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand (Nick Thayer Rmx) by Nick Thayer

Hot City – Twist/Lonely Boy

October 22, 2010 in Singles

I’m quite suspicious of contemporary records that claim to have a ‘speed garage’ feel. Too often they’re just all about the big wobbly bassline, and devoid of any of that essential skippy funk that made SG such fun the first time around.

Not this one, though, which captures the spirit of the late 90s perfectly. The presence on vocals of MC DT (of Pied Piper, Do You Really Like It? fame) does perhaps give Twist a slightly cheesy feel, but at the same time it also lends it a certain authenticity. And you need have no such pop qualms about the female-vocalled Lonely Boy, which does the MK/Todd Edwards choppy-uppy thang with the vox while the beats skip and shuffle and the organs parp underneath.
So yeah, if it’s a slice of retro SG-flavoured dancefloor action with bags of energy you’re after, you won’t go far wrong here.
Out: This week
About: This is on Moshi Moshi, one of those labels whose output seems mostly aimed at U21s in tight jeans and stupidly bright colours so I don’t normally pay much attention; proof were it required of how important it is to listen without prejudice to as much as possible, or you’ll miss nuggets like this! Anyway, here’s the Moshi Moshi website.
As for Hot City themselves, here’s what the hype sheet has to say:
Call them rave revivalists or put them next to the newest convergent sounds of post-dubstep and UK funky – Hot City are just as happy playing next to garage legends Ramsay & Fen as next to the intricate dubstep scientists Spatial.. similarly their tunes will mix into Todd Terry or Cooly G, Basement Jaxx or Brackles, 2 Bad Mice or – if you’re that way inclined – 2 Unlimited. Ultimately it all flows to and from the same place: the dancefloor.

Hertz & Subway – Shockz EP

October 20, 2010 in Singles

I like this. It’s one of those records, for me, that you go “I feel like I shouldn’t like this, but I do.” For that very reason I nearly didn’t write about it, because it’s quite far out of my comfort zone of music that I feel qualified to comment on… but then I remembered that being non-genre-specific* is part of the reason This Is Why We Dance exists, so…

…so basically, although billed as techno, both tracks – Shockz itself and B-side Hertz – operate in that zone where techno, progressive house and trance mingle. Probably on a mid-90s dancefloor, sweating, with their tops off and their eyes rolling. It’s straight-up pounding, rolling dancefloor bizness, hard and pumping but with a strong funk edge, made for moving your body, or rather made for moving lots of bodies in big, dark rooms. Preferably served with smoke and strobes (poppers optional).
And as I said, I rather like it… particularly Shockz, which does hard-but-funky in a way that not many can**.
Out: This week
About: This is on Umek’s label 1605. I get sent all their stuff but it’s usually a bit too linear and, well, techno-y for me. So it’s nice to be able to show some love for once! Here’s the 1605 website.
*Non-genre-specific but EXTREMELY subjective, judgemental, idiosyncratic and petulant, I hasten to add.
** Whatever the genre. TDV was the god of hard-but-funky, for me, cos he could play hard-as-nails German techno and make it sound groovy as a bastard. But in breakbeat, D&B, techno, whatever, there are those odd/DJs producer who can go hard but still keep the funk. Think how groovy Chus & Ceballos or Wally Lopez’s shit is compared to 1001 tedious tribal house producers, for example. It’s all about the funk. Always.

TNT Inc feat Donal Shefay – Respect Me

October 20, 2010 in Singles

Not reviewed much vocal stuff lately, partly because I’ve not been getting sent as much, partly because I’ve not been feeling it so much a lot of the time. But Reelgroove are great ones for keeping the trad house flying so they deserve some props…

And this, with it’s Chi-town beats, parping organs and a vocal from the Luther/Colonel school of thought, is about as trad as it gets! It even pays homage to Aretha in the chorus, in quite a respectful/non-cheesy way you understand.
The four takes from TNT Inc themselves (Original, Concept Mix, Concept Dub and Filter Dub) are more ‘DJ-friendly variations on a theme’ than radical reworkings, while the Thomas De Lorenzo Zabriskie Vocal Mix and Latest Craze’s two rubs are just a touch more contemporary/funkified. Not a lot going on remix-wise then really but still, if there’s a place in your sets for some good ol’-fashioned midtempo house bounce then this’ll do the job nicely. And for what it’s worth, I think the retro simplicity of the Original Mix works best.
Out: It just says October…
About: This is on Reelgroove, who as stated are veritable stalwarts of vocal house in the UK these days… here’s their website.

Raxon – Twenty Ten

October 20, 2010 in Singles

The latest from Sebastian Davidson’s label comes all the way from sunny Dubai. They describe it as a “cosmic deep house banger with a set of finger-lickin’ remixes,” and yeah that just about sums it up.

Not got time right now to go into all the mixes one-by-one, but they come from Ricky Inch, Evren Ulusoys, Spin Science (three mixes) and Spiritcatcher, and most deep house jocks should find something to drop as they range from the techy and glitchy, to proggy and drifty, to more bumping/jacking.
I think the tripped-out Spin Science Dub Journey or the more late-night Evren Ulusoys Fixation Of Twenty-Ten Remix are my faves, but it’s all good, as they say.
Out: This week.
About: As I said this is on Sebastian Davidson’s label, Nightbird Music. More about whom can be found here.