Various – Hibernation Vol 2

March 29, 2011 in Albums

Hibernation Volume IIOkay, so you think you know what to expect from a Bear Funk nu-disco comp – there’s certainly been enough of them. But wait!

Cos y’see it doesn’t all have to be glacial Italo synths, slightly iffy 80s hi-camp vocals and Levan/Cowley-homaging weird bass wobbles, you know. Nu-disco can have its more thoughtful, mellow, musical side too… and that’s what’s showcased here. Sure, the usual suspects are all present and correct – Essa, Rudman, Tobor, Mudd and of course Kotey – but this is definitely a more chilled-out, less brash side of the nu-disco coin, with wilful experimentalism for experimentalism’s sake forgone in favour of an overall vibe that’s a bit less Hoxton hipster hangout and a bit more lush cocktail bar.

In other words, it’s very good, and you should buy it immediately. End of.

Out: Last week, but again I was in the throes of Mega Armageddon Tooth Death at the time

About: If you need me to tell you about Bear Funk, you’re probably reading the wrong blog. But cos I’m nice, here’s their website, so you can go educate yourself a bit and come back when you’re ready. We’ll be waiting.

Various – Spring Tube Sampler 02

March 28, 2011 in Albums

Spring Tube SamplerSpring Tube is a relatively new label who’ve been sending me some good stuff of late… if you’ve get to catch the Spring Tube vibe, then this second label showcase is a fine place to start.

The general idea for the label seems to be to put out what they regard good music regardless of genre. Hence, there’s quite a range of styles on here, and so every single track might not be to every single listener’s taste (one or two are a bit too proggy or a bit too “downtempo” for me personally). But hey, variety is the spice of life and all that. For our purposes today, this has enough groovy little nuggets – Antifish’s laidback chillout/deep house cut Everything Will Be, Claes Rosen’s Into The Bloom, the drifty, uplifting, want-to-hear-it-in-Ibiza-really sunshine prog of Kenneth Thomas’s All Is Not Lost, and more – to make it certainly worthy of your attention.
Out: Last week, sorry, but I didn’t get to review it at the weekend as planned – an emergency tooth extraction due to excruciating pain kind of got in way of things…
About: Spring Tube is run by Russian duo East Sunrise and Latvian DJ/producer Slang, but as far as I can tell they’re based in the US. Find out more at their Facebook page and website/blog thingy
Oh, and the toothache seems to be gone now. Just in case you were wondering. But I’m not counting any chickens just yet…

The big catch-up post (part 3)

March 25, 2011 in Singles

Aki Bergen – Street King 3 vinyl sampler (Street King, 15 Mar)
King Street’s Street King offshoot has come a long way since its birth as a home for shouty electrohouse, and is now turning out a fine line in bumpin’, underground house music. Check this sampler for Bergen’s forthcoming label comp if don’t believe me…

Clapz II Dogz – Clapz II Dogz EP (Glass Table, 14 Mar)
Clapz II Dogz team up with Soul Clap on this three-track EP that’s home to some seriously sleazed-out slo-mo house with a cosmic disco twist and, on The Rain, a dash of soul to boot. Forward-thinking stuff.

Desos – It’s House EP (Tokyo Red, 15 Mar)
A three-track EP of deep, underground shizzle that shouldn’t take too much explaining! All three are very good but the organs on Surrender make it an absolute killer – go seek!

DJ T – Burning (Get Physical, 14 Mar)
The midtempo opening track from the recent Pleasure Principle album gets a single release, with the remixes from Redshape and Art Department. It’s okay but I’m still not sure about the robotic vocal…

Enei – Cracker (Critical, 14 Mar)
Future D&B collides with old skool jungle riddims on this tearing two-tracker from Enei. Turn the dark up!

Flash Atkins – The In Crowd (Paper, 14 Mar)
The title track comes on like classic prog (think Guerrilla Records) slowed down to a nu-disco tempo, while Flash’s Theme is a heavy-lidded slab of blissed-out Balearica with some luvverly jazz-funk geetar.

Icicle – Breathing Again (Shogun Audio, 14 Mar)
More future D&B/dubstep. B-side Redemption has a vocal from Robert Owens, but it’s Breathing Again itself that I’m preferrring

Jobe – Deeply Agnostic (Nude Photo Music, 14 Mar)
Forward-leaning deep house, with spoken vocal samples and five mixes, of which Random Pattern’s is my fave

Little Fritter – Truth Told (Affin, 14 Mar)
More quality deep house… or is deep techno, perhaps? When it’s as good as this, and the Dirty Culture Remix is even better, I don’t think we need worry too much about what we’re going to call it

Maceo Plex – Your Style (Crosstown Rebels, 14 Mar)
Second single from his recent album, with a Maya Jane Cole refix. A bubbling and slightly twisted warm-up/afterhours gem

Onur Ozman – Helvetica EP (Cabrio, 16 Mar)
Switzerland’s deep house hero Ozman comes to Cabrio with this quality two-tracker

Steve Mills – She Stars EP (Electrik Soul, 14 Mar)
Three slabs of deep, prog-tinged tech-house on Onionz’ label

Various – Code Red Miami 2011 (Code Red, 14 Mar)
Five more traditional house cuts from Barbara Tucker, DJ Spen and a whole bunch of newbies. Keep the faith!

Midland – Bring Joy

March 24, 2011 in Singles

Midland Bring JoyMidland gives his growing rep in deep house/deep techno circles another boost here, and getting Radio Slave and Youandewan in to remix certainly won’t hurt, either.

The original is an atmosphere-laden cut reminiscent of a late-night drive round some futuristic, Bladerunner-esque city. It’s all a bit soundscape-y for the first half, but once the chopped-up (and slightly chipmunk’d) female vocal comes in, it develops into a more abstract, future garage-y kind of affair. A track that will grow on you after repeated smoke-fuelled listens, methinks.

Youandewan’s Warehouse Dub does what it says on the tin, really, being a sparser but bigger and more echoey take, with less of the crackles and atmos’ and drums that come on like tribal on Mogadon, while Radio Slave’s rub is more similar to the original but in more of a deep techno kinda vein.

Finally, there’s bonus cut Dead Eyes, which is more your straight-up deep houser with sampled, spoken vox, but just as good.

Like I said, this won’t do Midland’s rep for forward-thinking deep house/deep techno any harm at all.

Out: This week

About: Don’t know much about More Music, TBH, but I THINK this is their Soundcloud page… at least, there’s a link to it from Midland’s

Namito – Marathon

March 24, 2011 in Singles

Namito MarathonKling Klong fave Namito returns with his first single in a while, and thankfully there’s no sign of his usual high standards slipping.

In its Original form, Marathon builds slowly and inexorably in much the same way as a Garnier opus might, from subdued, chugging groove to a full-on workout for big dancefloors in dark rooms that’s perhaps best characterised as ‘euphoric, but in a restrained, no-need-to-get-silly-about-it kinda way’. Well, that’s the best way I can describe it anyway!

Martin Eyerer’s rework doesn’t do much dramatically different, but goes go a little sooner/more directly for the tech/prog jugular, while Peter Dundov’s pass throws in a dark rumbling bass synth line reminiscent of Josh Wink, plus some spangy toplines worthy of Orbital.

You getting the idea here? If you’re gonna make big room techno, then doing so in such a fashion as to pick up Garnier, Wink and Orbital comparisons isn’t a bad way to go about it…

Out: This week

About: Kling Klong is of course part of the Great Stuff family and needs little introduction, having had plenty of love on this blog before now! But here’s their website anyway and, so you can HEAR THIS, their Soundcloud as well.

The big catch-up post (part 2)

March 23, 2011 in Singles

Okay, so continuing with the ‘stuff we missed’ theme… as per yesterday I’m not gonna do links, sleeves etc cos it’d take all bloody night… again, all these came out early March

Blood Groove & Kikis – Deep Grain Remixes (Spring Tube, 7 Mar)
An absolutely superb deep house offering from Spring Tube, with six mixes to choose from

Floyd Lavine feat Ruben John – Ms Cooper (Dogmatik, 7 Mar)
A deep and moody tech-soul affair, with remixes from Tom Demac and Nocturnal Sunshine

George Pearson – The Journey EP (Hype Muzik, 8 Mar)
George Pearson is apparently only in his early 20s… how he’s already making deep house/deep techno as good as this is beyond me

Inaya Day & Ralf Gum – Lose My Worries Pt 2 (GOGO Music, 7 Mar)
Featured this real-deal soulful house nugget on the TIWWD cloudcast a few months back, and now it’s back with no less than SEVEN new mixes from Trancemicsoul and Louis Benedetti. Just lush!

Jevne – Blue Label #1 (Eight Dimension, 8 Mar)
Following The System is a deep houser with disco overtones that comes on like early Faze Action, with remixes from Da Funk and Pete Dafeet. The ethno-Balearic funk of Velvet Eyes rounds out a very strong package.

Mioxam & Evan Burke – Tunnel Series #01 (Paradigma, 8 Mar)
The original is a proper tech-house/deep techno journey of a track, while Gary Beck’s remix adds a little big room drama.

Nadastrom – Theo (Dubsided, 8 Mar)
A one-sided release from Dubsided in a kind of jazzed-up tech-house vein… wouldn’t sound out of place on the likes of Leftroom or Freerange, which gives you an idea I guess.

Oliver Deutschmann – Waterfalls (Jack Off, 9 Mar)
The original of Waterfalls Are Good is a deep house/deep techno dancefloor cut, the Patrice Scott Sitrum mix is more of a late-night affair and then Do It The Classic Way Honey takes a trip to old-skool Chi-Town, making for a strong EP all round.

Seb Skalski – Disco Galaxy (Purple Music, 4 Mar)
Deep house and nu-disco flirt outrageously on the dancefloor.

Various – Light Of Day/Still Falling (Plush Recordings, 9 Mar)
Not had any D&B on here for while it seems, so here’s a nice little fem-vocalled liquid roller for ya… or rather two nice little fem-vocalled liquid rollers, seemingly by about 17 different artists. I’m confused, but they’re both rather nice, as I believe I’ve already made clear.

Various – Stealth Miami Sampler 2011 (Stealth, 8 Mar)
Six party-hearty big room tracks from the S-Man’s label, with Prok & Fitch’s remake of Todd & Jocelyn’s ‘Something Going On’ something of a surprise treat, actually.

The big catch-up post (part one)

March 22, 2011 in Singles

Okay, so going back to the ‘I AM going to bring this blog up to date if it ruddy well kills me’ thing, over the course of this week I’m gonna do some round-up type posts running quickly through some cuts that as yet haven’t had the justice they deserve on here. Starting with this lot, which all came out late Feb or early March…

Jose Souze – Camarera EP (Erase, 28 Feb)
A Latin-infused tech-houser from Wasabi’s label, with a more driving mix from Outcode

Mat Le Star – Life After (Techno Therapy, Mar 1)
Spacey techno with a hint of Italo, plus a more downtempo refix from Treble

Max Duke – This Is Blue EP (Smiley Fngers, 28 Feb)
Quality tech-house as we’ve come to expect from SF, with a little added ethnic flava

Mendo & SM – I Like It Remix EP (Cray1 LabWorks, 2 Mar)
Percussion-led rubs from Julian Chaptal and Wally Lopez & Ismael Rivas, but it’s the deeper pass from Oren Bi that’s working for me

Namespace – Sentinel (Stripped Recordings, 3 Mar)
More of a prog thing, really, but could work in deeper sets as well

Nick Daring – Decomposition Of The Past EP (Kiara Records, 5 Mar)
Four cuts of slightly leftfield-ish and hard-to-classify deep/prog/tech bizniss from this relative newcomer, but it’s the jazzed-up deep of David Labeij’s remix of Paint On Desh I suggest you seek out

Paul Francini – Paul Francini EP (Mutated Audio, 1 Mar)
If you like it on the minimal, glitchy side, check this

Samuel L Session – Broken Floor EP (Ground Factory, 28 Feb)
Deep, freaky techno for those twisted 4am moments in dark rooms

Tazz – Underground (Tsuba Limited, 6 Mar)
Two slabs of defiantly sparse underground tech-house on Tsuba’s vinyl-only sub-label… be quick cos they usually sell out fast

Thodoros Triantafillou & CJ Jeff – Not Only U (Rhythmetic, 4 Mar)
Not sure about the slightly Underworld-y white man’s blues of the vocal, but there are some nice old-skool house sounds on the Roberto Rodriguez Remix

Various – Schlack Purple 003 (Schlack Records, 4 Mar)
A six-track V/A sampler from this French tech-house label. Some of it’s a bit glitchy for me but check Tom Ap & Ferro’s Everybody for a housier vibe.

Vogue & Stein – Here To Move (Wired Music, 4 Mar)
Deep house on the original, tech-house on the Gabriel & Castellon Remix, so take your pick!

Wollion – You Got

March 22, 2011 in Singles

Wollion You GotI did consider not doing any more blogging tonight, out of deference to today’s loss… but the disco must go on, I guess.

With releases on four:twenty, Plastic City and several other labels in the past year, plus countless remixes, German producer Wollion is definitely an up-and-comer on the tech house scene right now. This latest offering, for Breakoutaudio, will do little to damage his burgeoning rep.

The original version of You Got comes from the deep house end of the deep/tech spectrum, with vocal snips and a raw kick that make it reminiscent of, say, an early Kerri Chandler cut on Madhouse. Fellow Germans Dualton* supply a dub that’s got more of a dark, rolling, techy vibe, as befits a track record that takes in releases for the likes of ViVA and Systematic, while Greece’s Detlef supplies a more stripped-down, more overtly techy rub.

The original is the one for me here, for sure, but it’s a strong package overall that should suit a range of DJs.

Out: This week

About: Darius Syrossian is the man behind Breakoutaudio, who are based in Leeds. Find out more here.

RIP Loleatta Holloway

March 22, 2011 in Singles

Genuinely saddened today to hear of the death of the one of the truly great original disco divas.

64 seems quite young, but hopefully Loleatta’s family and friends can take some solace in knowing she had – still has – countless fans all over the world. Anyway, what can I say? So not gonna bang on, but RESPECT is most definitely due.

Oh, and in case this is actually news to anyone this late in the day, here’s what BBC News had to say about it. I do quibble with the fact they’ve reduced her illustrious career to ‘was sampled by Black Box’ but at least she made the front page.

Various – Henry Street Grooves

March 21, 2011 in Albums

Henry Street GroovesSubtitled ‘Classic Deep, Funky & Jazzy House From New York City’, this rather excellent comp will be a trip down memory lane if you’re one of the older heads like me, or is an essential history lesson if you’re a young ‘un/newcomer.

For those that don’t know, Henry Street Music was a mid-late 90s house label outta Brooklyn. Big on disco cut-ups but taking in a variety of flavas in their time, in much the same way Strictly did but without the horrible ‘licensing Vengaboys’ bit at the end, they hit biggest with Bucketheads’ The Bomb but as well as that chart-busting, Chicago-sampling classic, they put out a hella lot more, er, deep, funky and jazzy house to boot. Come check my vinyl shelves if ya don’t believe! The list of artists who released on the label is like a Who’s Who of 90s US house: Armand Van Helden, DJ Sneak, DJ Duke, 95 North, Mike Delgado, Davidson Ospina, Scotti Deep, Todd Terry, Mateo & Matos, That Kid Chris, E-Smoove… ah, happy days! Sigh.

BBE put out a Henry Street comp called The Story So Far: 1993-1999, back when the label was still going, so it seems only fitting they’re behind this retrospective collection comprised mostly, as far as I can tell without spending ages A-B’ing tracklists, of cuts that haven’t featured on any of the previous Henry Street albums. Some of them coming from some of those big-hitters I just mentioned, but many of them more obscure nuggets.

So, like I said: a trip down memory lane for some, an education for others… and pretty unmissable whichever one of those applies to you. This was how we did it, as Montell Jordan once sang, sort of.

Out: Now (but again, only since last week)

About: If you want to find out more about Henry Street, you can start with their Discogs entry. BBE, meanwhile, can be found online here.