Martin Brodin – Bla Bla Bla

March 31, 2013 in Albums

Martin Brodin Bla Bla Bla MB DiscoSwedish nu-disco guru Martin Brodin serves up a whole album’s worth of glitterball grooves here.

It’s a largely instrumental affair, with a couple of exceptions – on Vicious Games, which features a somewhat Pet Shop Boys-ish male vocal, and more pleasingly on Don’t Stop The Dance, a languid cover of the 80s Bryan Ferry classic with a male lead vocal and multi-tracked female vocals on the chorus, not to mention some very fine Faze Action-y strings. Recent single Oh Yeah with its gleefully lifted INXS riff makes an appearance, Trapeze and closer The Island provide the obligatory chilled-out moments, but for me two tracks in particular stand out: Funky Gura, which is reminiscent of the mighty My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult when they get their disco shimmy on, and space disco epic Humming Bird with its scat vocal hook and party-tastic Phenomenal Handclap-ish vibe overall. Though the fairly self-explanatory Strings Attack is pretty damn good too…

What I think is irrelevant, though – you’ll have your own faves and there’s simply no denying that this is as fine a 68 minutes of good-time disco fun n’ frolics as you’re likely to hear all month. Oh, and there’s only 900 copies, so be quick!

Out: This week

About: This comes of course on Martin’s own MB Disco, who you can find on Soundcloud and Facebook.

X-Press 2 – Reign Of Drums

March 31, 2013 in Singles

X-Press 2 Reign Of Drums SkintA new single from the mighty X-Press 2 is kind of hard to overlook, innit?

But while the finely-crafted, lightly jazz-tinged percussion-led workout that is the title track would probably have got a review on that basis alone, this isn’t just here cos of the big name artists involved… it’s also here because Gave Up The Dance is as deep a house slice as we’ve heard from the veteran trio* in a long while. New York-sounding snatches of spoken female vocal sit atop a relentlessly rolling rhythm augmented by metallic scraping sounds and underpinned with some serious bass throb, to create something of a slow-burning seven-minute epic.

There’s no denying the quality of the A – these boys have been in the game a very long time, don’t forget – but it’s for Gave Up The Dance that you need to check this immediately!

Out: This week

About: This comes of course on Skint Records.

*who may or may not actually be a duo these days… at least, there’s no sign of Mr Beadle in the pic that came with this

Various – Back To The Deep EP

March 31, 2013 in Singles

Back To The Deep EP Xoom RecordingsNew label alert! Xoom Recordings is a new deep house imprint from the Emerald Isle, and this V/A ep is just their second release…

LP’s My Lady combines a soulfully-inclined female vocal with some slightly too-hectic-for-me percussion but also a squelchy, Chi Town-ish bassline. I’m preferring When The Beat Drops personally, though, which also comes from LP and is a deep, acidic groover with snatches of poetic female vocal. Elsewhere, Florian Muller’s Solar is an instrumental cut that starts out a lil’ bit Balearic and ends up a lil’ bit crazy cosmic freeform, while Jemaho’s Lift Me Up is a deep, soulful and tribal-tinged workout that wouldn’t have sounded out of place at Body & Soul back in the day.

It’s definitely When The Beat Drops that works best for me here, but it’s always good to hear from new artists and new labels so do check this one for yourself and make your own mind up!

Out: This week

About: You can find Xoom Recordings, run by one Matthew Collins, on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Smok – Still EP

March 31, 2013 in Singles

Smok Still EP Phat ElephantSome very fine house grooves in a variety of styles here courtesy of Finnish producer Smok – not to be confused, of course, with Slok or Smak. As if you would…

Feel Me is up first, an unhurried synth-led deep house affair with a stuttery main hook and a solid bassline propelling the track along underneath. It’s Still itself that’s the killer for me, though: a beefier, techier cut than Feel Me, its combination of throbby, proggy bass and deeper synth sounds is irresistible. Rounding out the EP, Midnight Highway then takes us into tuffer territory still with its fierce technoid rhythms and urgent main synth/bass riff.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Dutch label Phat Elephant, who I don’t believe have featured on TIWWD before…

Nacho Riveros – Messenger EP

March 31, 2013 in Singles

Nacho Riveros Messenger EP 5 And DimeIs it just me, or has it been a little while since Denver-based label 5 And Dime featured on here?

Well, no matter cos they’re here now, with a three-track, four-mix EP of archetypical 5 And Dime tackle: that is to say, melodic, very deep house music of the finest calibre. It’s the lounge-y 7th Avenue that gets the remix treatment, Luv Boutique turning in Deep Pass Remix that beefs up the drums just a smidgeon for the deepest of dancefloors; elsewhere, Level 66 is a smooth n’ sumptuous small hours groover for the more sophisticated floors, sporting what sounds like a snatch of vocal from Strictly classic The Warning, while Messenger itself is an ultra-deep, dubby affair, albeit still with solid 4/4 kicks for dancefloor appeal.

Quality stuff as ever, from one of the finest labels for proper deep house around right now.

Out: This week

About: 5 And Dime can found on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Lars Vegas – The Game EP

March 31, 2013 in Singles

Lars Vegas The Game EP Large MusicA treat here for lovers of trad-style, garage-y grooves, coming on veteran Chicago imprint Large Music.

You get The Game itself, plus two mixes of Break Me Down. None of the three tracks stray too far from yer classic ‘deep New Jersey’ blueprint, so picking a favourite (or finding a huge amount to say about ’em individually, bar the fact you’ve got near-falsetto male vox on Break Me Down and female vox on The Game) is quite tricky, but if pushed it’s the stripped-down and organ-fuelled Homework Remix of Break Me Down that stands out from a very fine bunch for me, with the more uplifting and euphoric The Game a close second.

Recently I said it was good to see Large not stuck in a rut and trading on former glories; equally though, it’s good to see they’ve not forgotten their roots!

Out: This week

About: You can find Large Music here, here and here (web, Soundcloud, Facebook). Lars Vegas, BTW, is also known as Lars Dales, and is one-half of Detroit Swindle, known for their work on 2020vision, Snatch! and Made To Play.

Ash-poow – You Can Make Make

March 31, 2013 in Singles

Ash-poow You Can Make Make SoundwaveWell, March has well and truly defeated me… by the time we’re finished tonight I’ll have done more posts than in any month since TIWWD began four years ago, and there’s STILL 100 or so things from the past month I didn’t get round to telling you about.

At least this one’s nice n’ easy, cos there’s just the one mix! You Can Make Make is an energetic, though tempo-wise by no means OTT, tech-house roller with an insistent female vocal hook (the title), no-nonsense percussion and a funky-ass bassline.

Don’t know what else to tell you, really, but this’ll move booties for sure.

Out: This week

About: This comes from a label called Soundwave, but I can’t seem to find a website for them… heaven forbid they should put it on the hype sheet or anything, that’d be just too easy. Anyway, Ash-poow is Polish so I’m guessing Soundwave might be too, but can’t say for sure…

J Alvarez – Format EP

March 30, 2013 in Singles

J Alvarez Format Viva RecordingsA four-track EP here from Seattle-based producer J Alvarez, coming on Viva Recordings.

First up is Format, a prog-tinged deep/tech groover with whispered male/female vocals and plenty of low-end throb n’ pulse. Silver Fir then takes a similar Hoxton/Berlin blueprint but gives it a little bit of a disco injection with its chorused vox and fat electrofunk-y bass. Days After takes us into deeper territory still – it’s dreamy enough for late-night chilling, but has enough low-end drama to work just as well on afterhours dancefloors, while heavily-treated, barely-there vocals infuse it with the requisite amount of soul. And then finally, Ottonaw Disco, as the name implies, sits somewhere between deep house and Nang-style nu disco.

Silver Fir wins out by a head for me, with Days After a close second, but these are solid and very now-sounding grooves all round that’ll work well on more discerning floors.

Out: This week

About: You can find Viva Recordings, who like Mr Alvarez are based in Seattle, on Soundcloud or at their own website.

Jonny Loves House – Repetitive Grooves EP

March 30, 2013 in Singles

Jonny Loves House Repetitive Grooves EPSome good-time dancefloor grooves inna deep house stylee on this three-tracker from Mr J L House.

Taking the three tracks in reverse order, in bronze position for me is Lazy with its tuff-ish drums, sweet female vocal (just a girl saying “lazy”, basically) and layers of white noise. In silver position by quite some way is Deep House Hustle, which ploughs a discofied deep house groove and adds plinky-plonky synths reminiscent of toytown rave records of days gone by. But taking the gold for me is You Done Bad, which combines gorgeously louche piano with a fat walking disco bassline and heavily-treated soulful fem vox to quite devastating effect.

It’s not easy to take the classic west coast/east midlands bouncy deep house blueprint and do anything original with it, but Jonny manages it here.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Jonny Loves House’s own self-titled label.

Danny O – Bella EP

March 30, 2013 in Singles

Danny O Bella EP Hype MuzikAfter lots of tech-house tonight (below), let’s move into deeper pastures. This five-track EP from Hype Muzik actually sits right on the deep house/tech-house divide (if there is such a thing) but leans a little more towards the former.

Bella itself is a midtempo chugger with a nagging, lolloping synth riff and a long chunk of quite unusual (you’ll see what I mean when you hear it) sampled female speech. Miles Davis is a more housified ride with frantic hand percussion, warbling (but not annoying!) flutes and a vocal that’s clearly been sampled from a live album by Davis himself, Sermon (Can I Go Deeper) is another housey, chuggy affair with a black consciousness vocal, Spirits invokes the spirit of very early progressive house while finally the oddly-titled You Know What They Say Flute is a 4am deep house groover with the eponymous wind instrument used to invoke a dreamway, eyes-wide-shut, blissed-out kinda vibe.

Quite a stylistically varied EP overall then, but all five tracks work well so hats off!

Out: This week

About: Hype Muzik is of course part of Norman H’s Stripped empire.