Mark Wilkinson & Mikalis vs Inner City – Good Love

April 28, 2011 in Singles

An oft-overlooked Inner City offering from 2000 gets a 2011 refix courtesy of UK stalwart Mark Wilkinson and Brighton’s relative newcomer.

And to be fair, they’ve done a pretty good job, giving the track a beefier, more modern-sounding production make-over, with enough of that post-electrohouse sheen to the big synth stabs to make it appeal to today’s club kiddies, without going so far as to alienate us veterans, and while still allowing the quality of Inner City’s original song to shine through. Good effort.

What’s more exciting is the fact that this single is merely the beginning, as Inner City are now back together and a new album is apparently in the pipeline. Paris Gray is once more on vocals and not as I said before Ann Saunderson – I’ve been asked to point this out in a rather snotty email sent to me by the record company via a third party. Which was nice, obviously.

Out: This week

About: If you don’t know who Inner City are, should you really be reading this blog, do you think? On the off-chance you don’t, then Google it, I can’t explain everything. Meantime, this is on Kevin’s own KMS Records, who can be found on here.

Akabu – Life Is So Strange

April 28, 2011 in Singles

Akabu Life Is So StrangeSticking with the deeper vibes, here a downtempo/ambient track from the The Phuture Ain’t What It Use To Be album gets a series of more floor-friendly remixes from the very respectable line-up of Deetron, Lovebirds and of course Dave Lee himself, this time wearing his Joey Negro hat.

They all contribute two mixes each but I’m in a something of a rush now so suffice to say Deetron’s mixes are deep and Detroit-y, Lovebirds’ go down a very ’90s-sounding route (in a good way) with some ace Jersey-style organs, and then Dave/Joey takes it to bigger floors on a mix that I suspect has been made with a certain Balearic island in mind, yet is remarkably non-cheesy. Well, it is if you head for the Dub rather than the Club Mix, but then I’d generally favour the dubs from all three parties over the vocal passes… and in any case the vocal’s not really ‘cheesy’, to be fair, it’s just a bit more ‘soulful male croony’ than I tend to find myself into these days.

Out of all that lot, house jocks of a variety of persuasions should find something to play here, proving that Mr Lee and his Z imprint remain as relevant to the underground in this day and age as ever.

Out: This week

About: None of the artists or the label should need much explanation from here, but here’s the Z Records website anyway

Soulight – City Talk EP

April 28, 2011 in Singles

Soulight City Talk EPA four-track EP from the ever-reliable Endemic Digital here. I’m not actually sure who Soulight are cos there’s zero information with the release, and I can’t look ’em up or anything cos I’m writing this on train… but the EP’s quite good whoever they are.

Taking it track by track, City Talk itself is straight-up deep house from the dreamy, drifty end of the spectrum. Soul is, as you might expect, a more soulfully-inclined affair, although still almost totally instrumental (there is a voice intoning the title buried quite deep in the mix but that’s it). Just Here is slightly more unusual/interesting in that it manages to fuse proggy and soulful elements, while House Crisis rounds out the EP with a little dancefloor bump n’ bounce (albeit that’s bump n’ bounce on the very deepest of floors, you understand).

All told, there’s no reinvention of the wheel going on, but it’s a very checkable selection. If I had to pick a fave, it’d be a toss-up between House Crisis and Just Here, but TBH I’m liking all four.

Out: This week

About: Well, as I said before I can’t really tell you anything about Soulight, and I’ve propped Endemic noff times, so here’s their website and we can move on…

Qvonimal – Mistaken

April 27, 2011 in Singles

Qvonimal MistakenAnother one-shot release, this time from a label I don’t know a huge amount about, Freaky Vibes. Like the Renton release below, though, it’s really rather good.

Mistaken is a mid-paced house/tech-house affair with a spoken vocal about… well, I’m not sure what about, actually. Some incident that occurred in some guy’s job at some point. It doesn’t matter too much, though, the random (and hard-to-decipher) nature of the vocal really just adds to the overall slightly trippy kinda feel.

It’s one for letting go of your mind and just groovin’ on through those wee small hours, and as such is well worthy of place in your box/wallet/crate… and heart.

Out: This week

About: Freaky Vibes turn out to be based in Valencia, Spain – as I learn from a quick look on Resident Advisor. Their MySpace and website (listed on RA) appear to be still under construction though so your best bet for now seems to be their Facebook page.

Pair Of Dirty Shoes – Say That

April 26, 2011 in Singles

Pair of Dirty ShoesBeen a while since we heard from Istanbul-based label SOWAT Music, but here they return with this offering from local boys Emrah Arslan and Kaan Duzarat, AKA Pair Of Dirty Shoes.

Deep house with a slightly leftfield, experimental twist is the order of the day generally, across an Original plus remixes from Ave Astral, from Kaan himself (as Shrimpy) and, most noteworthily, Q-Burns Abstract Message. Well, I say ‘most noteworthily’ as Q-BAA is the biggest name, but while his dubbed-out and lightly acid-flecked rerub of Say That certainly works, it’s actually the more bumping pass from Ave Astra, a new name to me, that I’m liking the best.

Still, whichever mix you go for, it’s a release that’s well worth investigating for lovers of (nearly) straight-up deepness.

Out: This week

About: As stated, this is on SOWAT Music out of Istanbul who, in cyberworld, live here. Oh, and here’s the label’s Soundcloud page as well, where you can HEAR THIS for yourself.

Meantime, this is what the hype sheet has to tell us about Pair Of Dirty Shoes: “Both have been movers in the growing Istanbul scene, with Shrimpy heading the Vesvese label and hosting shows on the influential Dinamo 103.8 FM while Fattish can be found in DJ booths city-wide as well as collaborating on many music projects. As Pair Of Dirty shoes the duo try out a variety of sounds from house to nu-disco to techno, mixing and matching tempos and stylistic elements in search of their own cool sound.”

The Dlinn – Alien EP

April 26, 2011 in Singles

The Dlinn Alien EPOne of the full-on proggiest releases you’ll ever read about on This Is Why We Dance, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of prog when it’s done well, and this (mostly) is.

It’s quite ‘big room’, yet manages to be neither too shiny-spangly, nor too laddy tops-off, if you see what I mean. You know if you see someone like Sasha or Digweed or Howells play, and it can start out a bit wishy-washy sometimes, and then there’s a bit where it starts get good and a bit more pumped-up but nice and housey, only then they spoilt it by getting either all overblown and trancey-trousers, or just a bit tribal and dull?

Well, of the four tracks on this EP, Alien and Oops (the housiest and my fave) are the kind of records you’d hear in that good bit! Transized is a bit more down that epic/soundscape-y type road and hence less appealing to me personally, though I can see its appeal, while Moondream has tinges of electro about it and so is probably one for a slightly younger audience.

But the EP’s worth checking for Alien and (particularly) Oops alone.

Out: This week

About: This is on a label I’m not sure have featured on here before, CDR (The Creative Digital Record Label). Their website is in Russian (and a bit slow to load) but here’s their Facebook page).

PS: No disrespect to my boy Danny H intended!

Renton – Photogram

April 26, 2011 in Singles

Renton PhotogramWe’ll kick off the week (the working week, that is) with this latest offering from Smiley Fingers, for no other reason than that there’s only the one track, so writing about it won’t take very long… well, that and the fact it’s really rather good, of course.

Smiley Fingers’ own hype sheet has Photogram down as minimal, but I’d describe it as deep house… it’s minimalist in approach, for sure, but there’s not of that skittery rhythms n’ jarring noises rubbish, just a pulsating, understated groove that rumbles along doing its own thing quietly for seven minutes and 34 seconds, while various technoid synths tinkle away on top.

And that’s it. It’s one for warmups and comedown sessions rather than peaktime dancefloors for sure, but like I said, it’s really rather good. But then isn’t everything on Smiley Fingers? So far, anyway…

Out: This week

About: Given that I pretty much sleep on Smiley Fingers pillowcases, I’d be very surprised if you weren’t aware of this excellent London-based label by now. But here’s the obligatory hypertext link just in case.

Various – The Breaks 15th Anniversary Edition

April 25, 2011 in Albums

After last week’s dubstep-athon, we now head back into more familar funky territory with this collection of tracks that shaped the proto-hip-hop block party scene in 70s New York. Don’t get it twisted, though – this isn’t a re-release of the original The Breaks album released on Harmless many years ago (as I first thought), but rather a whole new selection.

Many of the tracks (The Champ by The Mohawks, Got My Mind Made Up by Instant Funk or Hercules by Aaron Neville, f’rinstance) will be perhaps a tad over-familiar for the more discerning funk lovers, but then this is meant as an introductory, educational-type collection, it’s not supposed to be one for the diehards and purists! And even despite the inclusion of such old faves, there are plenty of lesser-known nuggets waiting to be discovered among the 31 tracks, too.

So: for older/better-versed funk/soul buyers this is worth a look… but if you’re just discovering dance music’s roots for the first time, it’s pretty much essential.

Out: Ooh, ages ago… end of March. But it deserved getting around to, even if we are a bit late!
About: This is one of a series of releases celebrating the 15th anniversary year of Harmless, one of the best reissues labels going. Check ’em out online here.

Synkro – Look At Yourself

April 22, 2011 in Singles

Synkro Look At YourselfApparently this track is already getting quite a lot of props in dubstep/future garage circles, and I’m not surprised – it’s really quite stunningly good.

The hype sheet describes Look At Yourself as “sitting in the middle ground of ambient electronica, R&B and garage”. I’m not sure I’d agree with the R&B bit so much but it’s not a bad description all the same. I’m going to go for ‘Donna Dee meets Massive Attack’ – informed by UKG in the beats and the use of chopped-up vocal snippets, Look At Yourself is a strong contender for ‘downtempo cut of the year’ if you ask me! A simply beautiful piece of music. Nuff said.

On the B, It’s is essentially in a very similar vein, while Girl is similar but with the R&B influence clearer in the use of crooned male vox as a sound source. While neither quite comes up to the level of Look At You, the EP as a whole nevertheless marks out Synkro as very definitely an artist to keep a close eye on. More soon, please!

Out: That I can’t tell you – slackness on the PR’s part, I’m afraid. Honestly, how hard can it be?
About: I CAN tell you that this is on Mindset Records, the Manchester-based label run by another producer you should definitely be looking out for, Indigo. Their website isn’t properly up and running yet but you can find Synkro on MySpace.

Forensics – EVL

April 21, 2011 in Singles

Forensics EVLForensics has featured on this blog once or twice before, his dark and sparse yet still strangely haunting and beautiful take on dubstep having been a favourite of TIWWD’s for quite some time. I actually get sent a lot more of Forensics’ shizzle than there’s ever time to tell you about, so sorry bout dat Kristian but I am listening!

In any case, this latest cut, EVL, is a typically brooding, menacing and moody affair, all ominous violin scrapes and a beat that recalls Massive Attack’s Karmacoma. It makes me think of wandering though deserted city streets in the darkness, looking for something (for some reason).

Anyway, it’s apparently being released as a single b/w Tied To The Big Hand, but I’ve not been sent that one. Still, check it out if you can – s’good.

Out: Now-ish, or if not then soon…

About: This will be coming on Forensics’ own label Methodology Recordings, which is also the epicentre of the 111bpm movement. Here’s the label MySpace and here’s the Forensics blog where you can download a ton of mixes n’ stuff