Various – Dubbed Out EP

October 31, 2014 in Singles

Dubbed Out EP Luna RecordsNormally try and leave you with something a bit more uptempo and party-hearty on a Friday night but, as I seem to have ballsed that right up this week, let’s take a look instead at this three-track V/A from Middlesbrough-based Luna Records.

House vibes at their deepest and most stripped-back are of course the order of the day here… the clue’s kind of in the title! French veteran Alexkid gives us Syndicate Dub, which is essentially 5:49 of a simple, lolloping beat that to these ears vaguely recalls the intro to Flash And The Pan’s Waiting For A Train, but slower and without the funny breathing noises. James Hutchison’s Soiree has a little more texture in the form of sub voce vocal fragments and dub techno-style FX, while Rogello’s Motumbo completes the EP, a strangely muted midpaced roller topped with warping sci-fi synths, albeit in the most understated way possible.

Uncompromising, heads-only tackle, this – the dancefloor at your local Ritzys/Oceania most certainly does NOT beckon! But that’s a good thing…

Out: This week

About: Luna have been on a bit of a break so it’s good to see them back in the game! Keep up with all their goings-on on Soundcloud and Facebook; there is an official website as well but it’s currently having a bit of a makeover.

VELCRO – Up EP

October 31, 2014 in Singles

VELCRO Up EP Different AttitudesTypically fine fare from Different Attitudes on this latest two-track offering.

On the A, Upright takes a chunk of vocal from Victor Simonelli’s US garage classic Do You Feel Me? (albeit in resung form) and places it atop ruff-edged beats and some gloriously parping organ work, with pianos and a spot of synth-brass joining the party as the track progresses. Flip it over and you’ll find the amusingly titled Upwrong, a pacier, more driving refix sporting decidedly 90s-sounding wonky synth scribbles, more of those cheeky lil’ vocal bites and some cool liquid-y sounds (not as in D&B, as in they sound like… liquid. As in fluid.)

Contemporary enough for younger floors but with knowing references that’ll make the older heads smile, it’s hard to imagine this one not doing well.

Out: This week on Traxsource, everywhere else from 10 November.

About: Find Different Attitudes on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Sean McCabe feat Donae’o – Tomorrow’s Another Day

October 31, 2014 in Singles

Sean McCabe feat Donae'o Tomorrow's Another Day Z RecordsWe kick off tonight on a soulful tip with this new single from my boy Sean McCabe, which trails his soon-come album It’s Time.

Tomorrow’s Another Day features a full-blown soul vocal from Donae’o – known for his work with Lethal Bizzle and Jack Beats, as well as for 2009’s UK funky anthem Party Hard – and comes in three mixes. The 12-Inch Extended Mix has soaring, surging synths and a vaguely Chi-towny bassline underpinning the vox; Another Sean McCabe Dub does pretty much what you’d expect, toning down both vocals and synths to give the track a deeper, dreamier feel, while the package is completed by a simple (and fairly self-explanatory) Radio Edit.

Sean’s dub takes the gold for me.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by Dave Lee’s long-running Z Records, who you can find here, here and here.

Massmass ft DonatelloD – Young Revelations

October 30, 2014 in Singles

Massmass ft DonatelloD Young Revelations EP Unrivaled MusicJust two tracks to choose from on this latest offering from Unrivaled Music… and to be honest, to these ears even that’s not gonna be a tough decision.

Don’t get me wrong… Just Come Down is perfectly playable, opening with a full minute of fierce tribal percussion before in come rough-edged, minor key synth stabs and then the rather arty, Germanic-sounding half-sung/half-spoken female vocal from DonatelloD.

But there’s ‘perfectly playable’, and there’s ‘utterly bastard essential’… and if your tastes are anything like mine, then it’s under the latter heading that you’ll be filing Alcoholic Dancer with its clappy beats, occasional Morricone-ish whistling and, most importantly, insistent parping Hammond organ throughout.

Out: This week

About: You can find Unrivaled Music here and here.

Mark Holmes & Russell James – House Proud EP

October 30, 2014 in Singles

Mark Holmes & Russell James House Proud EP Manchester Underground MusicManchester Underground Music regular Mark Holmes teams up with fellow Brit producer Russell James for this split three-tracker.

Up first is Yamba. Coming from Holmes on his own, Yamba is a fairly tuff, rolllin’ kinda tech-houser sporting some very now-sounding big, fat bass and some decidedly old skool-sounding pianos. The deadly duo then team up for Something, a far deeper tech groove with ominous shuddering bass, moody synths and a spoken male vocal sampled from an ‘inspirational speaker’ or some such, before it’s James’s turn to go it alone with Space, a low-slung n’ chuggy affair topped with, surprise surprise, all manner of funny space sounds.

It’s the latter track that takes the gold for me I think, but Something isn’t far behind and to be fair, Yamba‘s a perfectly serviceable lil’ roller too.

Out: This week

About: You can find Manchester Underground Music on Soundcloud and Facebook.

MANIK – I Know EP

October 30, 2014 in Singles

MANIK I Know Lost RecordsA neat three-tracker here from Leftwing & Kody’s ever-checkable Lost Records and young NYC-based producer MANIK.

On the A, I Know in its original form combines tuff tech-house beats and raw-edged synth drones with 90s-sounding female vocals (sampled I think, though I couldn’t tell you where from). Jacques Renault’s isn’t hugely different but perhaps a notch more pounding, and adds a ker-razy Hammond breakdown in the middle. The real treat here though is bonus cut Waiting, which is as fine a slice of chunky, floor-friendly bass house/future garage as you’ll hear all week.

Out: This week

About: You can find Lost Records on Soundcloud and at their Facebook page. Check MANIK’s own Soundcloud, too, where you can download guest mixes he’s done for Rinse FM and Radio 1.

Kimyan Law – Run Ames/Eclairage

October 29, 2014 in Singles

Kimyan Law Run Ames Blu Mar TenWe shift now into drum & bass pastures, but while the beats may have changed, the overall mood here – introspective and vaguelly melancholy – is really remarkably similar to the Enzo Leep release below.

On the A, Run Ames features Robert Manos, his half-spoken, half-sung soulful vocal complimenting the haunting piano chords, live double bass and liquid-y beats of the musical backdrop perfectly. Flip it over, and Eclairage is a more cinematic, soundscape-y piece, its minimal beats augmented by what sounds like a xylophone or glockenspiel or some such, layered atmospherics and occasional dramatic, stabby chords.

Also like the Enzo Leep release, this is probably best served in the very late hours with suitable herbal accompaniment…

Out: This week

About: Kimyan Law is a half-Congolese, half-Austrian producer based in Vienna. He’s only 19 years old and this is his debut release, which makes it all the more impressive! It’s brought to you by Blu Mar Ten Music, who you can find here, here and here.

Enzo Leep – Ash/Briel

October 29, 2014 in Singles

Enzo Leep Ash HeisenbergTwo seemingly quite disparate reviews for you tonight: one’s a techno record, the other a drum & bass record. But as we’ll see, the two have more in common than you might think…

We start off in the techno corner, with this two-tracker from Spanish producer Alvaro Lamet, AKA Enzo Leep. Now, use the words ‘Spanish’ and ‘techno’ in the same sentence and you’re probably instantly thinking of driving, loopy fare, but instead, Ash and Briel come from the very deepest end of the techno spectrum, where things start to drift off into ambience. So Ash is long on birdsong, cavernous bass and snatches of distorted, spoken male vocal, while Briel heads into slightly darker, more menacing territory but operates at a similarly laidback pace.

More likely to appeal to fans of Burial or Flying Lotus than to ketamine-addled squat ravers in Hackney, this is techno at its most inventive, and its most involving. Check it.

Out: This week

About: This is only the second release from Russian label Heisenberg. Based in St Petersburg and spawned from a long-running club night of the same name, they can be found on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Goran Tech – Light At The End

October 27, 2014 in Albums

Goran Tech Light At The End Artefact RecordsWe stay on a deep n’ techy tip now as we turn our attention to this full-length offering from Macedonian producer Goran Naumovski Bitola, better known as Goran Tech.

This is his first album in a production career that dates back to 2008, and the predominant musical mood is the very deepest of tech house grooves – as with the RBS comp below, long on melody and atmospherics, and eschewing obvious hooks or ‘build ’em up, knock ’em down’ big room dynamics. But there’s enough variety here to keep things interesting – see for instance the contrast between the acidic 10am, the lighter, more soulfully inclined Hubble and the driving Land Of Hope. And that’s not to mention the handful of downtempo/ambient tracks that are also included.

It all adds up to an album, while it might not make too many end-of-year ‘best of’ lists, certainly makes for a very pleasant 70 minutes of listening.

Out: Today

About: This is brought to you by leading Macedonian label Artefact Records – find ’em on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Various – Five Years Lost

October 27, 2014 in Albums

Five Years Lost Ritter Butzke StudioA couple of long-players to tell you about tonight, starting with this 12-track compilation released to mark the fifth birthday of Berlin club night (and, obviously, spin-off label) Ritter Butzke Studio.

The club’s resident DJs and assorted friends supply the tracks here, with Madmotormiquel, Schlepp Geist and Marc Poppke the best-known names. I’m not going into each track individually, but the album as a whole can best be filed under deep house, albeit with the lion’s share of on what’s offer coming (more specifically) from that point where deep, tech and progressive house collide. So expect plenty in the way of bleepy synths, melodic keys and dense atmospherics, and not much in the way of vocals.

Daniel Solar’s Detroit-tinged Shadow Chaser is one highlight, Bedderman & Dahlmann’s Small Talk another. But really this is the kind of album that needs to be heard in full for maximum effect, serving as a gently undulating musical backdrop for the wanderings of frazzled minds…

Out: Today

About: You can find Ritter Butzke Studio on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at the club’s own website.