Various – Spring Moods Vol 5

May 16, 2016 in Albums

Spring Moods Vol 5 DeepWit RecordingsAlways like to save some of that proper deep goodness for a Sunday night so we’ll close up with this latest in DeepWit’s annual Spring Moods sampler/compilaton series.

Nine tracks on offer, with the emphasis on up-and-coming talent rather than well-known names (though Igor Gonya does make an appearance). Not gonna do the full track-by-track but the dreamy, drifty flotation tank vibes of DJ Ndo-C’s opening Lost Images, with its spoken female psychobabble vocal, pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album: unhurried, luxuriant late-night deep house grooves are the order of the day generally, though there’s enough variation within that to ensure things don’t get dull. ZaVen’s Bloom has a dubby feel, Hotmode’s Manners sprinkles a little Balearic disco sparkle, while SDJ’s Sky Atlas opts for a slightly more up n’ bouncy approach. Furdak’s 80s-tinged Chasing then closes the album on an ever-so-slightly more uptempo note.

Another essential collection from the Copenhagen crew.

Out: This week

About: You can find DeepWit Recordings herehere and here.

Various – 10 Year Compilation Volume 1

May 8, 2016 in Albums

10 Year Compilation Vol 1 SoulsupplementAnother label comp here, as Bruno Browning’s Las Vegas-based Soulsupplement celebrate a whole decade in the game with the first of two 10th birthday ‘best of’ sets.

There are nine tracks on offer and it’s getting late, so you’ll forgive me for not going into each track individually. Suffice to say some well-known names like Vincent Kwok and Corduroy Mavericks feature alongside a host of newcomers and a couple of cuts from Bruno himself, and the overall vibe is heavily inspired by classic left-coast deep house of yore, with bumpin’ basslines and familiar (or reworked) vocals snips in abundance – see, for instance, the aforesaid Mavericks’ Marvin-referencing Bout To Lose My Mind, or Browning’s own Red Light, which nods to The Police’s Roxanne.

If you’re looking for dancefloor-friendly deep house in the classic style, you’ll struggle to find a better collection than this one this week. Roll on Vol 2!

Out: This week

About: You can find Soulsupplement Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Various – Jump Volume 1

May 8, 2016 in Albums

Jump Vol 1 Jump DigitalWe stay in tech-house territory now with the first-ever label comp from As I Am’s London-based imprint Jump Digital.

While it’d be fair to file the album under ‘tech-house’ generally, I should also say that there is actually some variety on offer here. Opener Baby Boo by Jesse James, for instance, comes on like a late-90s speed garage remix of Destiny’s Child or TLC, while Digital Three’s Dope has distinct echoes of Brit-house from the mid-90s. But overall, big bouncy tech-house bizniss is the general order of the day, with Argy Kay’s Answer and Behic Fellowes’ sinuous, acid-tinged Alright particularly worthy of your attention.

A great collection from a label I’ll be keeping a closer eye on in future!

Out: This week

About: You can find Jump Digital on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – MoodyHouse Sampler Vol 1

January 24, 2016 in Albums

MoodyHouse Sampler Vol 1 Moodyhouse RecordingsAs I’ve said many times on this blog, if there’s one thing that makes me happier than getting sent a truckload of great house music, it’s getting sent a truckload of great house music by a bunch of new artists I’ve mostly never heard of. When that truckload of great house music ALSO happens to be the very first release from a brand new label, the happiness-meter just about explodes.

And so to this collection. It’s the very first release from brand new label MoodyHouse Recordings, which is based in Barcelona and headed up by Iban Montoro & Jazzman Wax, who TIWWD readers should be aware of, and it comes packed with sumptuous (proper) deep house grooves from a bunch of artists you mostly won’t have heard of, though one or two names (Arturo Garces, Ander B) may ring a vague bell.

There’s a definite leaning towards the jazzual end of the deep house spectrum, a fact that’s reflected in the track titles (see: Ritmo Du Vela’s Feel The Jazz and Big Pack’s Naked Jazz), which may put one or two people off I guess. But such people are more to be pitied than despised. In a nutshell, this 12-track sampler is AT LEAST 12 times better than it really has any right to be… and it comes with an hour-long mixed version by the label bosses to boot, the icing on an already very fine cake.

Not picking a favourite here cos this bumps from start to finish; now go seek.

Out: This week

About: You can find MoodyHouse Recordings on Facebook or at their own website.

PS: I said I wasn’t picking faves, and I’m not, but DJ Lulu & DJ Gas’s Hustling Whistle probably deserves a special shout, being a cheeky makeover of Reuben Wilson’s funk/soul classic Got To Get Your Own.

Various – Best Of Innocent Music Limited Vol 2

January 24, 2016 in Albums

Best Of Innocent Music Limited Vol 2As regular readers will be aware, Slovenia’s Innocent Music and their sub-labels Innocent Music Deep and Innocent Music Limited are among this blog’s favourite purveyors of deep techno and minimal grooves. So while it’s barely a month since the label’s last compilation offering (December’s, er, December Sampler Vol 4, as reviewed by yours truly for iDJ), this latest collection was a very welcome arrival in the inbox all the same.

It’s gotta be said, though… when a label has such a recognisable sound, and turns out so much of the stuff, it’s hard to keep thinking of anything new to say about it! So all I can really do is reiterate what I said about the last one… you won’t find too many huge surprises here, but if twitchy, crunchy beats, industrial FX, dub basslines, haunting disembodied vocal fragments and production so sparse you could drive a truck through it sound like your idea of a good time then this album, which features cuts from the likes of F.eht, Diwex, Aney F and Vagabundo as well as a host of lesser-known names, should be right up your street.

As is fitting for a Sunday night review, it also comes particularly recommended to all the sofa-surfers and midnight tokers out there…

Out: This week

About: Find the Innocent Music label family herehere and here.

Various – Cool Kids Never Sleep

December 31, 2015 in Albums

Cool Kids Never Sleep Unfelde RecordsThere’s no shortage of quality underground electronic music coming out of Romania these days, with techno, tech-house and minimal seemingly the country’s favoured flavas. This new compilation from Unfelde Records, a label who I don’t think have featured on TIWWD before, is just one example!

And yes, techno, tech-house and minimal are what you can expect to hear across its eight tracks, which come from eight artists most of whom you’ve probably never heard of. But that’s not to say it all sounds the same, with cuts ranging from Andrei C’s smooth, dubby (and quite house-y) Plutesc In Aer to the twitchy, glacial minimal of Robert David’s Frigu, via the looping, terrace-friendly tech-house of Jerome C’s Carlo’s Gone.

It all gels nicely, though – making this a good bet whether you’re looking for ammunition for your DJ sets, or just want to take the path less travelled when it comes to home listening.

Out: This week

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

Various – The Christmas Gift LP III

December 29, 2015 in Albums

Various Christmas Gift LP III Carton-Pâte RecordsFrench label Carton-Pâte come with their third annual Christmas compilation, serving up 18 tracks from nearly as many artists.

With 18 tracks on offer, it’d be boring if they all sounded the same – but there’s no danger of that here, as The Christmas Gift LP III stands out for the sheer breadth of music on offer. Where else are you gonna find jazzy, trumpet-tastic deep house (Apollo Powder’s Pont Rouge), deep dark and slightly scary post-dubstep (the JM Remix of Jeanne’s Roma), squelchy Daft Punk-isms (Maxime F’s For You), bumpin’ UKG nouveau (Mr Cardboard’s rave-tinged JSNE) and scratchy minimal techno (Optamystick’s Abyss) all rubbing shoulders on one album – never mind, as here, within the first few tracks!

And the album continues in similarly eclectic fashion, taking in lounge-y/Balearic vibes from Karim Sarahoui, fierce Relief-style jacking house from Pause, euphoric but non-cheesy prog from PNKPHTM and more. The sparse-yet-sumptuous GT246 Garage Edit of Oxxa’s In My Mind and the aforesaid cuts from Apollo Powder, Mr Cardboard and JM/Jeanne come particularly recommended by yours truly, but really, suggesting highlights from an album like this is a bit of pointless exercise – with the variety on offer you’d be better off diving on in and finding your own.

You’ll be glad you did… and you certainly won’t get bored.

Out: Now

About: Find Carton-Pâte Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Various – IAHG Bangers #1

December 15, 2015 in Albums

NIAHG Bangers #1 I'm A House Gangsterext up, we move to almost the opposite end of the house spectrum from the smooth, soulful grooves of Basement Boys, and jump straight int0 this collection of big, strutty club cuts from DJ Sneak’s I’m A House Gangster imprint.

On first listen, the album can come across as a bit same-y, with stomping, tracky shizzle the order of the day throughout. Bangers these indeed are! After a play or two, though, you realise there’s actually quite a bit of variety on offer nevertheless, from the blues-tinged G-house of HR & Ski’s Rewind It Back, to the deeper grooves of Sidney Charles’s House Peopz, the bumpin’ jazz-flecked tech-house of Tripmastaz’ Rollin’ Mars and even nods to footwork/juke on Kid Enigma’s Shoelaces. Chuck in offerings from the likes of Hector Moralez, Joeski, Ramon Tapia and of course the Sneaky one himself, and what you end up with is a very fine collection of club shakers that sound 100% contemporary, yet steer clear of obvious 2015-isms in favour of a more classic approach to stripped-down, jackin’ house music.

There’s a reason Sneak’s been on top of this game for two whole decades y’know…

Out: Now (but only since Friday)

About: You can find I’m A House Gangster on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Basement Boys – House Legends

December 14, 2015 in Albums

Basement Boys House Legends Groove OdysseyThree quite different compilations to tell you about tonight as we once more play the ‘Monday night albums catch-up’ game, kicking off with this offering from Groove Odyssey. House Legends is their new series paying homage to the giants of the soulful house scene – their answer to Defected’s House Masters, if you will – and so who better to kick the series off than those Baltimore legends Basement Boys?

Here, then, you’ll find 20 of the finest moments in the long (30 years next year!) and illustrious career of both Basement Boys (the production team) and Basement Boys (the label). Kenny Bobien’s You Gave Me Love, Shaun Escoffery’s Days Like These (presented here in Deepah Dub form), Marc Evans’ The Way You Love Me… if you were out and about on the soulful house scene in the 90s and 00s you’ll definitely know most of the tracks here. If you weren’t, of course – which I suspect is really the point – then this is the perfect introduction to a stunning back catalogue. We’re surely about due a soulful house revival any minute now…

Meantime for us older types, there are enough lesser-known gems and unreleased mixes to make this worth investigating even if, like this reviewer, you still own much of what’s here on vinyl. Sheila Ford’s sumptuous Why Can’t You See (remixed by Louie Vega) and the raw garage of Margarate Grace’s God Created Woman would be cases in point, as would the Teddy Douglas Re-Rub of Rochelle Fleming’s I’m Gonna Give It To You; s’good to hear the likes of Teddy Douglas’ The Violin again, too.

All told, a great package from some of dance music’s true originators. Respect is due!

Out: Now

About: You can find Groove Odyssey on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Some albums, quickly…

November 30, 2015 in Albums

Time once again tonight to catch up with some album releases from the past couple of weeks that I didn’t quite get around to… all are out now but still fresh!

Various – Ten Years Of Leftroom
Ten Years Of LeftroomHard to believe Matt Tolfrey’s Leftroom label has been in business for an entire decade but such, seemingly, is the case. To mark this landmark, they’re releasing this 10-track collection which takes in old favourites, some new remixes and a clutch of new material as well. Tolfrey himself either provides, collaborates on or remixes a full 50% of ’em, while his partners-in-crime include the likes of Route 94, Audiojack, Kate Simko, Jay Haze and Laura Jones. Together, they serve up a heady cocktail of meaty house and sinuous techno that’s dark, often trippy, and perfectly in keeping with the label’s always forward-looking remit. Oh, and you get a 37-minute mixed version thrown in as well. More info here.

Danny M – Deeper Vol 1
Danny M Deeper Vol 1 New Politics RecordsThe New Politics Records stalwart comes with his debut artist full-length here. If you know the label, you’ll already have a pretty good idea what to expect and sure enough, contemporary-style ‘bass house’ with strong nods to both vintage UK/speed garage and the mid-00s bassline house era is pretty much the order of the day throughout. If you’re not a fan of the style, then it’s fair to say this won’t be the album to change your mind, but if you are then cuts like the dreamy Need You, or the big n’ strutty Rock The Disco with its familiar vocal sample, will more than satisfy. More info here.

Various – Ekletik Beats Vol 004
Eklektik Beats Vol 004 EDM UndergroundAnother label comp here, this one coming from Greece’s unfortunately named EDM Underground, who for those that don’t know them have nothing to do with cake-throwing, pyrotechnics and electotraptrancestep, and everything to do with quality underground house music. Across this 17-track collection you’ll find deep and tech vibes ranging from the laidback and jazzy to the peaktime and stompy, and while some names – BiG AL, Pano Manara, Vincenzo De Robertis, label boss Analog Trip – should be familiar to TIWWD readers, most of it’s been made by relative newcomers – making the high quality standard throughout all the more impressive. More info here.

Various – Jazzy Best Pt 6
Jazzy Best Vol 6 Apparel MusicAnd from a label called EDM that have very little to do with EDM, we move on to a compilation called Jazzy Best that has very little to do with jazz! Okay, there’s a brushed snare here, a mournful sax parp there, I’ll grant you. But a Peterson-esque noodlefest this definitely isn’t; instead expect 20 tracks of the finest underground house music – mostly on a deep dancefloor tip but with one or two techier moments and a few more downtempo excursions – coming from the likes of Echonomist, Sarp Yilmaz, Sek and a raft of lesser-known names. ‘Jazzy’ it may not be, but ‘best’? Not far off, I’d say… More info here.

Various – Krafted Vol 1
Krafted Vol 1 Krafted MusicLastly for tonight’s little round-up but by no means least, we have this first-ever label comp from Krafted Music, which consists of 13 full-length tracks plus a continuous mix by Paul Moore of Soultrak. Ger Gleeson, Danny Satori and Christ Burstein are probably the best-known names that feature but as with the comps above, this isn’t about big names, it’s about quality house tuneage. And on that count these 13 slices of underground deep and tech goodness certainly deliver, with Prudence’s Notice Me and Sean Grainger’s Climax – MONSTER tunes, the pair of ’em – worth the price of admission on their own. More info here.

As ever with these round-up thingummies, sorry to all concerned that each of these albums didn’t get a little more in-depth love but there’s only so many hours in the day!