Andy Vaz ft Eva Soul – Feelin’

February 29, 2012 in Singles

And from a house track that TALKS about Detroit (Mansfield & Klein, below), here’s a house track that’s actually FROM Detroit. How about that for a seamless segue, eh?

The original of Feelin’ is slice of soulful action whose musical roots lie at least as much in NY/NJ as they do in the Motor City. With a backdrop of warm piano chords and a yearnsome, breathy vocal from Eva, it’s a beauty… and the remixes from Norm Talley (instrumental and stripped to the bone, but nonetheless retaining the warmth) and Drivetrain (a little more swung and west coast-y) don’t hurt it one iota.
Definitely seems to be a resurgence lately in tracks that can do ‘soulful’ without it having to mean ‘wishy-washy, noodly and polite’, and that can only be A Good Thing.
Out: This week
About: This is on Soiree Records International, Derrick Thompson AKA Drivetrain’s own label who’ve been pushing house in Detroit for 20 years now. All praise is due, etc… though I must admit I’m most familiar with Drivetrain from the excellent One Wish Wonder album he did on Little Angel in 2005.

Anthony Mansfield & Tal M Klein – Who’s Afraid of Monty Luke

February 29, 2012 in Singles

House music with a sense of humour… it’s only rarely been tried, and even more rarely actually worked. So this tongue-in-cheek number from Anthony Mansfield and fellow San Franciscan Tal M Klein, which made ME chuckle at least, is most definitely to be welcomed.

Musically, Who’s Afraid Of Monty Luke is a chunky slab of house at “today’s lower tempos”, with both techno and disco influences. It’s solid stuff for sure, but it’s the (mostly spoken, sometimes falsetto, sometimes vocodered) vocals that really make it… you’ll have to hear it for yourself but it’s almost certain to make you smile when you do. Particularly when the track announces itself as a tribute to Bob Villa, host of US DIY show This Ole House… and various of that show’s technical staff.
On the B, the aforesaid Monty Luke – who the press release informs me, how reliably I’m not sure, is a friend of the pair who relocated to Detroit to work at Planet E – shows he’s not afraid of himself with a remix that takes the tracks into more overtly technofied pastures. Like the vocalist I’m personally “thinking of a word that starts with an H, ends in an E, has an OUS in the middle”, so it’s the original for me all the way, but this mix will have its fans as well, I’m sure.
Oddly reminiscent of Grampa’s She’s Crazy, an early Kerri Chandler nugget, this is a quirky gem.
Out: This week
About: This comes on Tal M Klein’s own San Francisco-based Aniligital Music.

Sleazy McQueen – 5+1

February 27, 2012 in Albums

Opening with the soaring pianos of Jesus Pablo’s C Major, here’s as good a picture of the current state of the art when it comes to dancefloor-oriented deep (as opposed to tech) house as you’ll hear all week.

From Senor Pablo we move into the Crazy P-ish vibes of Tres Gueros ft Anne Mantone’s Your Love, and from there into the sheer retro joy of Crazy Boogie’s Marshall Jefferson-esque Feel It. Now they’re moving, a couple of more contemplative grooves keep the vibe steady in the form of Peckos’s What Are You? and Sleazy’s own Trains Over Broadway, building up nicely into the quirky leftfield disco-house of Z Track 05 by Noise Destruction. Then it’s heads-down for Grant Dell’s Don’t Need Ya and Do It Proper’s Love Haight, before Anne Montone’s tonsils grace us once more on SMQ’s Anna Due.
That’s followed by the Balearically-tinged The Ride from Do It Proper again, before we come to what’s the standout for me, Sleazy McQueen feat DJ Itek & Q-BAM’s massive acid-tinged, Plastic Dreams-referencing Big Times, Big Tings. Grant Dell’s House Tribute – which has cropped up on this blog before as I recall – and Dirtyworx’ Una Cola then calm things down a little, before Tres Gueroro’s Instead You Go lightens the mood with some punk-funk vibes. And then finally Mario Dujic’s My Need Is You plays us out with some blissed-out space disco.
It’s a thoroughly enjoyable romp, all told. And, quiet interestingly, it was brought to you by the magic of Kickstarter.com, with a list on the CD cover of all the people who chipped in to make sure the album came out. Nice work, philanthropic types – househeads worldwide will be very grateful!
Out: Today
About: This comes on Boston-based label Headtunes Recordings. Here’s the usual links: website Facebook Soundcloud MySpace.
Florida boy Sleazy needs no introduction from me these days but I should also point out he’s also SMQ (of course) and Tres Gueroros, so quite a lot of this album is his own work.
As regards Anne Montone… no idea. But a great voice, let’s hope we hear more from her soon.

DJ Sneak – Fabric 62

February 26, 2012 in Albums

It’s been, ooh, 17 years since Sound Of Ministry put out a compilation called The Future Sound Of Chicago; that was the first time, I’m pretty certain, that yours truly came across a man called Carlos Sosa, better known as DJ Sneak. Not long after that, I first saw him DJing, on a Thursday night @ Sankeys Soap in Manchester. Then still pretty much an ‘up-and-comer’, he blew the place away – it’s one of those rare nights from back in the day that actually sticks in the memory! I was covering the night for a long-defunct Manchester magazine, where I described Sneak’s set as “a jazzed-out, techno-infused trip to the jacking, pulsating disco heart of house music”, or something equally pretentious.

Well here we are a decade and a half later, not a lot’s changed. I’m still talking shit about house music, and Sneak’s still one of the best in the game at it.
I’d like to leave this review right there, but I should probably also tell you that this features lots of tracks and mixes from names that will be very familiar to readers of this blog – Ramon Tapia, Mike Jules, Luca M, Mendo, Darius Syrossian – and some other names that might not be… yet. Oh yeah, and I should tell you as well, that it includes a remix by Mr Tapia of the classic ‘Special’ by Sir James. That track aside, though, this is long on truly upfront shizzle, and of course several tracks from Sneak’s own Magnetic label.
But mainly I just wanna tell you that this is the absolute mummy-cuddlin’ BOMB. And we really will leave it right there.
Out: This week
About: You’ve probably heard of Fabric… they’ve got their own discotheque in London and everything!

Kenny Summit – Not Just Talk sampler

February 26, 2012 in Singles

Kenny Summit has been DJing in NYC for nearly 20 years, and is no stranger to the studio either… yet it’s only now, in 2012, that he prepares to release his debut full-length. And here are the first five tracks from it.

Kenny’s pedigree and experience show, in that these tracks slot into a ‘classic house’ continuum nicely; at the same time he’s not stuck in the past either, with the influence of more contemporary deep/tech sounds also writ large. Hence, by mixing the old and the new, the tracks here could find favour with a range of jocks. The Cut chops up the Flawless vocal to devastating effect; Sax Breath marries tuff, rolling beats with surprisingly little of the eponymous woodwind instrument but instead a nagging, repetitive synth hook; What We Must Become has a dreamy, almost proggy Balearic feel; Mayhem goes back to those driving tech-house beats but adds a seriously phat n’ funky bassline; and finally Nickel-Plated brings the proper old-skool flavas with its Chi-town b-line and Loleatta sample, perversely making for something that should go down a storm in the current climate.
If the rest of the album’s as good as the tracks here, it’s gonna be a must-have.
Out: This week
About: This comes to you courtesy of a label who are no strangers to this blog, Mile End Records. Here’s their website and Facebook.

Chuck Love feat Demonica Flye – The Voice

February 26, 2012 in Singles

Not heard from Minneapolis housemeister Chuck Love for a while, but now here he comes again with a soulfully-inclined number that will delight lovers of traditional vocal house/garage vibes.

Ms Flye’s voice reminds me a little bit of Celeda and a little bit of Michelle Weeks, as she delivers a rousing part-spoken, part-sung call to arms. “What’s up with that last cut, dude?” she asks. “It sounded like R2-D2 getting busy with Ms PacMan. Where’s the soul?”. In the current techy and largely instrumental house climate, there will doubtless by many who are hearing that! Parping organs and a harmonised gospel-style chorus further enhance the vintage US feel… you can see this going down a storm at pool parties in Miami next month.

On the remix tip, Monte’s Main Mix takes the track into shinier, spanglier, more main room territory, while Bryan Gerrard pares the vocal back a little and lets the organ come to the fore, but the pick for me is the Jevne Remix, a stripped-down and far deeper affair that chops and loops the vocal, and that will be just perfect for those 5am moments in the more specialist clubs.

Mixing soulful vox with plenty of solid dancefloor bump was always somewhat Mr Love’s stock-in-trade… nice to see he hasn’t lost his touch!

Out: This week

About: This comes on Vino Recordings. Like Chuck himself they’re based in Minneapolis, and this is number 8 from the label, though the first that’s come to my attention I will admit. You can find ’em online here, or visit Chuck Love’s own website

Various – Now Departing: 5D004

February 25, 2012 in Singles

Now let’s go from deep to deeper, with another new offering from some of the most promising new kids on the house block, 5 And Dime Recordings. Once again, it’s a V/A affair featuring F Stop, Zach De Vincent and Quin.

F Stop’s Sense Of Perspective is like an object lesson in how to do deep n’ dubby house music properly, so much so that this could equally appeal to lovers of deep techno or future garage. Ain’t a whole lot going on but crisp, insistent beats, lashings of bass, dubbed-out sub-aquatic FX and some meandering Mr Fingers-esque synths… but if that isn’t enough to satisfy then you might just be reading the wrong blog.
ZdV’s Walking On Down is a more upbeat, more obviously dancefloor-oriented affair, with a PHAT n’ funky b-line, disembodied and heavily effected ‘aahs’ by way of a vocal and, again, not a huge amount else! And finally Quin’s Everything Is Alright works pounding kicks, Afro-esque but non-noodlesome hand percussion and another full-phat bassline, and tops it all off with some soaring, dare I say even euphoric synths.
The latter’s the one that could find its way into the sets of a broader variety of jocks – it’s just a good groove that’s packed with sunshine and smiles – while the first two are more your ‘connoisseurs only’ tackle… but that’s a good thing. Proper deepness for those that know.
Out: This week
About: Only four releases in and Denver-based 5 And Dime is already rapidly establishing itself as one of the hottest labels to watch… in my humble opinion of course. Here’s their website, Soundcloud and Facebook, if you wanna know why!

Enzo Siragusa – As We Are

February 25, 2012 in Singles

“Sleek, deep, punch and modern house is what Enzo Siragusa is all about,” says the hype sheet on this one, and yeah, that just about sums it up. Here, the resident from London club night Fuse (held at 93 Feet East) serves up a second single for his own label of the same name, making just four releases from them to date.

In its ‘original’ Enzo’s Back To 93 Mix, As We Are is a deep, dubby houser, techy around the edges, long on sampled psychobabble vocals (M&F) and packing plenty of hefty bottom-end to keep the floor chugging along nicely. Remixes come from Rich NXT and Seb Zito, though to be honest neither of them flips the script massively, apart from Zito’s rub being a little more stripped-down.

A touch more variety in the mixes might not’ve gone amiss, then, but this is strong stuff all the same.
Out: This week
About: Like I said, this is number four from Enzo’s own Fuse Records. Can’t seem to find a website for the label but here’s one for the Fuse club night.

James Silk – Lost Circus EP

February 24, 2012 in Singles

And the good house grooves keep on coming, with this three-tracker from James Silk, a young producer who seems to be turning out the good house grooves on an hourly basis right now.

Like the Stanny Abrams track below, opener Friend Of Mine here is big n’ squelchy, albeit in a contemporary bassy tech-house rather than a 90s organ house kinda way; like Roman Rai’s Sometimes two reviews down, it plunders some veteran acid jazz for its vocal, albeit this time Incognito rather than Brand New Heavies. It’s rather splendid, in other words.

Elsewhere on the EP, you’ll find Hazy Dayz and Trail To Buda. The former’s a midtempo tech-house chugger with a deeply satisfying bottom end, some lilting, Steely Dan-esque geetar twiddles and a falsetto male vocal sampled – I’m guessing – from some 70s soul brother that I’ll probably kick myself when someone tells me who/what it is! The latter is a slightly more uptempo groove with a sparser feel, some analogue squelch and disco-tastic “all right” vocal snips, and a jazzy, frenetic piano breakdown midway through.
The last two perhaps lack the ‘instant anthem’ appeal of Friend Of Mine but both are still very cool, confirming Mr Silk as a producer you definitely need to be keeping an eye on right now
Out: This week
About: Despite James’s Liverpudlian origins, this actually comes all the way from southern Europe, on Macedonia’s Artefact Records. As they haven’t featured on here a million times already, here’s the full set of links: Facebook Soundcloud MySpace YouTube and their own blog.

Stanny Abram – It’s Magic

February 24, 2012 in Singles

Well, wonders will never cease, as they say! I think this is the first record I’ve been sent with a Deso remix, where said remix actually ISN’T my pick of the crop.

Don’t get it twisted, the Deso Dope Remix of It’s Magic IS very good, a slo-mo gem of a deep, druggy groove tailormade for warm-up or afterhours play. The Patrick Podage & Nikola Kotevski Remix is also very good, a midtempo deep houser in the traditional sumptuous, mellow and melodic vein.
But at the end of the day, dear readers, TIWWD is a bit of a tart, an Unashamed Disco Dolly™, and as such, neither of the aforesaid can compete, in terms of sheer joyous ‘whack it up loud and dance around the room’-ness, with the Original, which is a BIG-with-a-capital-BIG organ tune that’d give Show Me Love or Morel’s Grooves #4 a run for their money any day… or indeed any of the early bassline house organ tracks out of Birmingham on labels like Jump and Ecko, that got yours truly so excited circa 2004/5.
So yeah, the original wins out for me but with two other top-quality remixes on board, all three of which will suit different floors/moods/times, you NEED this.
Out: This week
About: This is another winner from Savoir Faire Musique, one of those labels who I’ve raved about so much on here it’s getting a bit embarrassing now…