Various – Something Remixed Vol 1

September 29, 2014 in Albums

Something Remixed Vol 1 Something DifferentSo far tonight we’ve looked at a compilation celebrating 20 years of a club, and another marking 12 years of a record label. But to end on, here’s an album from Something Different with its eyes firmly fixed on the future. That said, obviously it’s a remix album so all these tracks have been out before… just not in this exact form.

But the important thing about this collection is how it demonstrates what a multi-faceted, many-headed beast ‘deep house’ (or ‘deep and tech house’, if you prefer) has become in 2014. From the bouncy squelch of Kike Henriquez’ remix of David Duriez’ The Trouble I’ve Been Known For, via the stoned, dubbed-out grooves of Junior Gee’s The Smoke (as remixed by David Labeij), to the Detroit-nodding stylings of Deneha’s take on Skeleton Army’s Haircut 200 and Jus’ Nowhere’s garage-y mix of Kaua’s Dancing Swirl, it’s an album that shows that, 30 years on, house music still isn’t running out of directions to head in.

Look out also for Vol 2 –  coming soon.

Out: This week

About: You can find Something Different on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Give A Soul To Your Groove Vol 1

September 29, 2014 in Albums

Give A Soul To Your Groove Vol 1 So Sound RecordingsFollowing on from the recent Jazzy Eyewear comp, here’s a ‘best of’ representing the first dozen years of Fabian’s record label, So Sound Recordings.

Given that I’ve reviewed countless So Sound releases over the years – both on here and in iDJ – and given the talent line-up (Inland Knights, To-Ka Project, Zoo Brazil and of course Jazzy Eyewear, to name but a few), the quality that’s on offer here was never in any real doubt. What’s more surprising is just how fresh it all sounds, when you think that some of these cuts are over a decade old. Stylistically, the emphasis is on fat-assed, floor-friendly deep house grooves in the classic mode, with a couple of excursions into jazzy/soulful pastures (see, for instance, The Rurals’ remix of Mood Rotation’s Getting Started). Jazzy Eyewear’s Found The Way is one highlight with its fusion of lounge-y and jackin’ vibes, Toka Projects’s dreamy, late-night Session One another, though I must admit these ears glowed most on hearing old fave Hot Soup by Inland Knights again.

However much the current hype for so-called ‘deep house’ that isn’t might annoy some of us, there WILL be young buyers of the same out there that are starting to dig deeper… and as such, a compilation showcasing this long-running, always dependable, actual deep house label really couldn’t be much more timely.

Out: Now

About: You can find So Sound Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Wiggle For 20 Years

September 29, 2014 in Albums

Wiggle for 20 YearsThanks to toothache stopping play, got a few albums from last week to catch up on tonight before we go on with this week’s reviews, starting with this 20-year anniversary collection from Terry Francis, Nathan Coles and Eddie Richards’ long-running club night Wiggle – AKA ‘the birthplace of tech-house’.

And blimey it’s a bit good. Rather than attempting a potted musical history of the club, what they did was ask 40 of their previous guests to supply a track each, then picked the best 20 for this album. What you end up with is a mix of well-known names (Alex Arnout, D’Julz, Jay Tripwire, DZNB, Saytek) and more underground talents, who between them serve up an object lesson in what tech-house sounds like at its best – not cold, clinical and Berlin-y, not one endless tribal terrace workout, but deep, funky and groovalicious in the extreme, with

Acquiring this album is strongly recommended. Nuff said!

Out: Now

About: This comes of course on Wiggle Records, who you can find here, here and here.

Waifs & Strays – Keep Pushing EP

September 27, 2014 in Singles

Waifs & Strays Keep Pushing EP Resonance RecordsMuch as I do like the three records I’ve just told you about, it’s a case of ‘best till last’ tonight as we end with this excellent (deep) house EP from Resonance Records. Again there’s a local connection, with this being the work of Bristol lad Amos Nelson, a Futureboogie resident who’s already had releases under his Waifs & Strays moniker on Leftroom, Hot Creations and MadTech.

Keep Pushing itself is up first, a relatively uptempo affair by today’s standards, with drum and bass sounds that owe not a little to vintage Chi-town and an ominous spoken “keep pushing!” vocal, as well as some full-blown diva wails as the track progresses. Denney’s Acid Rework of the same is a tuffer, more stripped-down pass that doesn’t actually have any of the screaming 303s you might be expecting.

As for the other two originals, Walk Out is a low-slung, funk-fuelled groover dominated by a walking b-line, pleasingly raw-sounding keys and chopped female vox. But best of an already very fine bunch is Information, which starts with mid-paced techy drums and male “ah-ah-ahs”, before dropping down into a good old-fashioned deep organ jam, atop which another male voice intones the title every now and again. Superb, is the word here!

Out: This week

About: You can find Max Chapman’s Resonance Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Bordland – Phantom/Know It All

September 27, 2014 in Singles

Bordland Phantom DimentiqueMoving into housier pastures now with this two-tracker from Bristol label Dimentique.

On the A, Phantom is the more obviously floor-oriented of the two cuts, rocking reversed drum sounds, killer garage-y organs and barely-there snatches of soulful male vocal. Flip it over, and Know It All is a laidback, almost beach house-y affair, with fluttering synths that do a passable imitation of birdsong, lovely warm piano chords and floaty female vocal snips.

Classy stuff all round, but Phantom would be my pick for the gold.

Out: This week

About: You can find Dimentique on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Hidden Gems From The Vault

September 27, 2014 in Singles

Hidden Gems From The Vault 22 DigitWe stay in techy pastures now with an EP I’ve actually told you about before…  it was supposed to come out last October but some, er, ‘difficulties’ meant it was never actually released.

Well, now it’s back, and I promised I’d let you know. Not a lot has really changed since the last time I reviewed it, funnily enough, so suffice to say you’ll want to head for the Tom Ellis and Midicult tracks if it’s deeper shades of techno/tech-house you’re after, while those of a housier persuasion should check for (label boss) William Welt’s Vibe & Soal and Ludowick’s Get It Off (as remixed by Moodymanc, no less).

Out: This week

About: This STILL comes on 22 Digit Records, who you can find on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Blackhall & Bookless – Se7en EP

September 27, 2014 in Singles

Blackhall & Bookless Se7en EP Jaunt RecordsWe kick off tonight on a techy and quite dark tip, with this debut release from brand-new London label Jaunt Records.

It’s the label arm of the long-running club night of the same name, and appropriately enough residents Blackhall & Bookless do the honours for JR001. The brilliantly titled Kevin’s Spacey is up first, a meandering, atmospheric, dare I say prog-tinged? affair. Morgan’s Freeman (doesn’t work quite so well, does it?) follows, a more heads-down and driving cut with a sound palette borrowed from the industrial side of deep techno. The Virginia Remix of Kevin’s Spacey is a lighter, housier pass than the original, while finally the Fred P Reshape of Morgan’s Freeman brings stuttered female vocal snips, atmospheric synth washes and a druggy, hypnotic vibe overall.

It’s the remixes rather than the originals that are floating my boat more here but all the same, it’s an impressive debut.

Out: This week

About: You can find Jaunt Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

J2B – The Cold/Island In The Sky

September 26, 2014 in Singles

J2B The Cold Plush RecordingsEnding on a D&B tip tonight, it’s always a pleasure to hear from Plush Recordings and this latest two-tracker from the Denver stable doesn’t disappoint.

The two tracks are quite different, though. On the A, The Cold is a few notches tuffer than we’ve come to expect from Plush – indeed it reminds me a little bit of Trend’s 1997 jump-up anthem Another Classic. On the AA, meanwhile, Island In The Sky operates in more familar Plush territory, being a laidback, melodic liquid funker complete with crisply firing breakbeats, sax parps, luxuriant pads and floaty, disembodied vocal samples, one of which may or may not be a certain Capt James T Kirk

Not gonna pick a favourite here – partly because the two tracks are so different but mainly because I’m genuinely liking both.

Out: This week

About: You can find Plush Recordings here, here and here.

Optimator – D-Lectric

September 26, 2014 in Singles

Optimator D-Lectric Sweep The Floor RecordsAn interesting collage of influences – and mixes to suit a range of DJs – on this latest offering from Leeds label Sweep The Floor Records.

In its original form, D-Lectric nods to vintage Chicago in the beats department, even as its tinkling ivories and big, buzzy bassline look yearningly to the rave era. The Ketami Remix heads down a darker, techier path, with distorted spoken vox and some added bottom-end squelch. Roger Jay’s remix is also quite techy but in a more stripped-down kinda way, while the Mdazzze Remix will cement the track’s reputation with the post-dubstep crowd, before finally the Slipp’d Disc Remix with its analogue synths and cool, clinical vibe has hints of late 70s/early 80s punk-funk.

The original and Mdazzze rubs would be my pick but as I said, there’s enough variety in the mixes to ensure this could find favour with a whole swathe of DJs.

Out: This week

About: You can find Sweep The Floor Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Jero Nougues – Collective EP

September 26, 2014 in Singles

Jero Nougues Collective EP Limitation MusicWe kick off tonight on a deep house tip with this latest from Jero Nougues, an Argentinian producer who makes quite disgracefully good records to say he’s a mere 21 years old and still a full-time student.

There are three tracks. Collective itself is up first, a lazy, laidback groove topped, rather oddly, with big chunks sampled from a Winston Churchill speech. Even more oddly, ol’ Winnie makes another appearance on End Of The Beginning, which essentially treads similar musical ground to Collective but is just a tiny bit livelier, while finally Get Over It doesn’t sample any war-time prime ministers, but is another fine mellow deep house groove, topped this time with a dreamy female vocal and meandering, 80s-ish sax.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by Romania’s Limitation Music, who you can find here, here and here.