Laurence Reed – Elastic Energy

February 28, 2016 in Singles

Laurence Reed Elastic Energy Deep Site SpaceTonight’s dose of proper bouncy-assed house music comes courtesy of Portsmouth’s Laurence Reed, who serves up an excellent lil’ three-tracker for Deep Site Space.

Elastic Energy itself is up first, a dark n’ techy cut that’s nonetheless got da funk in spades, not to mention some nice squelchy synths and, yes, energy to spare. System Reset operates in not dissimilar territory but is a notch housier, dare I say a bit proggy, while we play out with Grubby Thoughts, a deeper, dubbier jam built with weary late floors in mind.

The title track just nudges it for me, but all three tracks here are strong, and all three deserve taking to a darkened, drug-fuelled small-hours dancefloor at your earliest convenience.

Out: This week

About: Find Deep Site Space on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Soulful Nature – Going Nowhere EP

February 28, 2016 in Singles

Soulful Nature Going Nowhere EP NexGen MusicFour tracks of liquid D&B goodness from NexGen Music here.

Going Nowhere itself features a soulful male vocal and elements of piano, sax and strings, and is reminiscent of early Hospital material… the hype sheet’s “think Marvin Gaye meets High Contrast” is as good a description as any! Still Love U operates in similar territory, but it’s a female vocal this time, buried deeper in the mix and accompanied by faster-rolling breakbeats. Something New brings another male vocal and while still quite fierce is also a notch lighter/poppier, while completing the EP is Doing To Me, which has echoes of vintage Acen-style hardcore, but in a smoooooooth kinda way.

They’ve chosen the lead track well here, but liking Still Love U as well.

Out: This week

About: Find NexGen Music here, here and here.

Cup & String – Make It Rain

February 28, 2016 in Singles

Cup & String Make It Rain Slime RecordingsWe finished off last night in garage/bass territory, so let’s pick up there again tonight with this three-tracker from the ever-checkable Slime Recordings.

There are three tracks to choose from. Ain’t Nobody (feat Sarah Pellicano) kicks us off in future garage/post-dubstep pastures, with a sweet female vocal, stuttery, steppy beats and a big bass wobble that, at times, sounds a little bit like the start of the original Dr Who theme. Still Deep In Love is a more straight-up 4/4 UKG banger, and then finally we get to Make It Rain itself, which veers towards rave/breakbeat.

A pleasingly varied EP then, and all three tracks are well executed, but if pushed Ain’t Nobody takes the gold.

Out: This week

About: You can find Slime Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook, or at their own website.

Kachina – Broken Lines EP

February 27, 2016 in Singles

Kachina Broken Lines EP Affectionate GroovesTo end on tonight, a truly superb four-track UKG/bass music EP from Affectionate Records, a new label in the NexGen Music group that was only set up in December, and that’s based jointly in Washington DC and London.

My Love gets the ball rolling, which has that soulful, Tuff Jammy vibe but underpinned by stuttering, thoroughly contemporary-sounding beats. Gangsta is a fine concoction of smooth, rolling beats and hefty warping bass that, as befits the label’s transAtlantic heritage, samples dialogue from both Ray Liotta and Michael Caine (with some ragga shouts in there too).  More reggae vox grace Broken Lines itselfwhich also features a proper dub bassline*. And then finally there’s the proper retro two-step bizniss of Breakaway.

Quality all round here, but if pushed then Gangsta takes the gold (as they’re prone too, I guess!)

Out: Yesterday

About: As stated above, Affectionate Grooves are the latest addition to a label camp (NexGen) that also includes NexGen Records (D&B) and Migration Recordings (dubstep). They describe their remit as “UK garage, two-step, speed garage, deep house, funky house and more” and you can find ’em on Soundcloud or at their own website.

* As a side note, some of my favourite UKG back in the day was the raggga-tinged stuff, always thought it was a shame when that kind of got edged out by the more R&B-ish end of things.

P.A.M.O – Friday Night EP

February 27, 2016 in Singles

P.A.M.O Friday Night EP Bounce House RecordingsBack in house pastures but picking up the pace a little, here we have a two-track, five-mix EP from some more old TIWWD faves who haven’t featured on here for a while, Bounce House.

Friday Night itself takes up four of the five tracks, coming in bumpin’, organ-flecked, garage-tinged Original, tuffer but still garage-flavoured MVZZIK Remix, stripped, sparse and lightly jazz-tinged Cjel If Remix and more sultry n’ funkified DK Watts Remix flavas. Completing the package is Groove Crash, which starts with crowd noise and off-kilter jazz drums, then slowly builds into a late-night slow-groover with sampled (MLK?) vox, dreamy synth washes and an overall feel that nods towards classic Chi-town deepness.

All good, but the Original and MVZZIK rubs stand out for yours truly.

Out: This week

About: You can find Bounce House Recordings on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Jigsaw ft Ziddy Sharma – Break The Mould

February 27, 2016 in Singles

Jigsaw Break The Mould E-Motion RecordsAnd from a deep house record that, confusingly, shouts “strictly drum and bass!” (see Alek Soltirov review below) let’s move on to an actual drum & bass record that, helpfully, doesn’t feel the need to shout “strictly deep house!”. Lord knows there’s enough confusion what those two words mean already…

Just the two tracks to choose from here. On the A, Break The Mould is a techy, minimal-leaning stepper with a downpitched male vocal from Sharma and a pleasing “dark n’ moody without getting stoopid about it” feel overall. Flip it over, and She Wasn’t Ready is a rolling liquid affair, much lighter in feel than the A but not without, in true yin/yang style, some inner darkness of its own in the bass department.

Both are cool but it’s Break The Mould I’m feeling the most.

Out: Tomorrow

About: This comes on E-Motion Records, a Birmingham-based D&B label who took a break for most of 2015 but are clearly back in full effect for the 016! Find ’em on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Alek Soltirov – Ultrafunkula EP

February 27, 2016 in Singles

Alek Soltirov Ultrafunkula EP Great Lakes AudioA very fine two-tracker here from Macedonian producer Alek Soltirov, who’s had stuff out on the likes of Salted and King Street. This particular gem, though, comes via Mark Farina’s Great Lakes Audio.

On the A, Ultrafunkula itself places the well-known vocal sample atop quite tuff 4/4s that are married to funk guitar chops and some superb tinkling jazz ivories, the overall effect just screaming ‘Miami pool party’. S’good, but B-side Let’s Bring It is even better. It actually follows a very similar ‘rock-solid kicks and a hefty dose of jazz’ formula as the A, it’s just that here the keys are even more wigged-out while a rastaman-style vocal insists “strictly drum and bass!” over the top (yes, it’s an unlikely choice of vocal sample but I’m guessing that’s the point).

Superb dancefloor deepness made with the upcoming summer in mind… excellent work Mr Soltirov!

Out: Yesterday

About: Can’t seem to find much of a web presence for Great Lakes Audio but here’s Mark Farina’s own website.

Ronnie Spiteri – Shake A Leg

February 27, 2016 in Singles

Ronnie Spiteri Shake A Leg EP Kenja RecordsMore contemporary-style house bizniss on this latest from Southampton’s Kenja Records.

Label boss Ronnie Spiteri is the man at the controls once more, with his Original of Shake A Leg a bassy lil’ floormover with a man’s voice intoning the title over and over, though not so much that it gets annoying. The Dub tuffens things up a notch while also dropping the vocal (obvs), while remix duties this time out are taken care of by Reset Robot, who turn in a driving, techno-leaning rub that’s still get enough funk flowing through its veins to work on house floors, too.

The Original would be my pick but all three mixes are plenty playable.

Out: Yesterday

About: You can find Kenja Records – from whom this is only the ninth release, BTW – on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Jay-J – Eventually

February 27, 2016 in Singles

Jay-J Eventually Shifted MusicS’funny, the other week I was just thinking about how you don’t seem to hear as much from Jay-J these days and then this landed in my inbox the very next day. Spook!

Anyway, suffice to say the left coast deep house don hasn’t lost his touch. Three mixes of Eventually to choose from: the original’s the one for the more soulfully inclined floors, Jay-J’s Shifted Up Mix is the one for those that like their deep house proper 4am and bumpin’ and the Original Revamp sits somewhere between the two.

All good, but the Shifted Up Mix takes the gold for me.

Out: 4 March (bit early on this one cos I’d put it in the wrong folder!)

About: This is brought to you by Jay-J’s own Shifted Music, who you can find here.

SDJ – Sea View EP

February 22, 2016 in Singles

SDJ Sea View DeepWit RecordingsTo play us out this Sunday night, some very fine deep grooves coming from those ever-reliable providers of the same, Denmark’s DeepWit Recordings.

Three tracks make up the EP. Mantra gets the ball rolling, a laidback, late-night gem that owes more than a little to the classic west coast deep, soulful house sounds of the early 00s, what with its warm, lingering pads and floaty female vocal snips. Sea View itself operates in quite similar territory but perhaps errs a little more to the deep rather than the soulful side of the equation, while finally Think Back is a little pacier in the beats department but is every bit as deep n’ dreamy as the other two, and sports a mighty fine bassline to boot.

Trying to think of any labels that do this kind of uber-deep tackle as well as DeepWit, and I’m seriously struggling* to think of any. Definitely a “heads only” kinda thang this EP, but if that’s you you’re gonna love it, trust.

Out: This week

About: Find DeepWit Recordings herehere and here.

* Best I could do: Greta Cottage Workshop when they’re not being a bit too leftfield/weird, Soulstar/Little Angel but in a more soul-oriented way, or Lucidflow but with a techno slant. And no doubt someone obvious who I’ve forgotten about temporarily and hence have now mortally offended.