Atomphunk – Tighten Up

October 4, 2015 in Singles

Atomphunk Tighten Up 3am RecordingsManchester producer Atomphunk returns to Al Bradley’s 3am Recordings here, for the first time in a full 12 years since his track Subsonic constituted one of the label’s very first releases back in 2003.

There are four mixes to Tighten Up to choose from. Atomphunk’s original is a chuggy instrumental houser, sitting somewhere between the deep, prog and Balearic camps (but mostly leaning towards the first) with its spangly synths and crisp, rolling beats. His own Time & Space Mix is a sparser, dubbier pass whose natural environment will be weary dancefloors round about the 5am mark. Elsewhere, Wight Label boss Martin Davies supplies a slightly dreamier, smoother take on the original, while finally Atomphunk and scene legend Si Brad team up for a drummier Dub with some fresh topline synth action of its own.

Truth be told the differences between the four mixes are pretty subtle, but if push comes to shove then for me, Atomphunk’s Time & Space Mix wins by a nose.

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 30 October.

About: Find 3am Recordings here, here and here.

Makka & Howard Sessions – The Re:Tweak Vinyl EP

July 27, 2015 in Singles

Makka & Howard Sessions The Re:Tweak Vinyl EP 3am RecordingsEven though it’s not out till 3 August, I was meaning to get something up about this last week but time slipped me by. See, this is a bit of an unusual release. For one thing, it marks a return to vinyl for 3am Recordings, who’ve been operating on a digital-only basis for the past half a decade or more. More importantly, it’s being released via Qrates, a kind of crowdfunding service for vinyl.

As I understand it, Qrates lets you create a vinyl release – by specifying play speed, label artwork, vinyl colour, packaging etc, much like ordering something from VistaPrint – which you then ‘pitch’ to the general public as you would a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project. Then if – and only if – you meet the requisite 100 orders, they get pressed up and sent out. If this means that more young labels can take the plunge into vinyl, this can only be a good thing!

As for the EP itself… well, 3am has a long pedigree making deep house and this latest offering doesn’t disappoint. The two originals, the garage-leaning A Beautiful Day and jazz-tinged The Mild Cigar, were actually out digitally in 2011, but Nick Devon’s stompier refix of the former and label boss Al Bradley’s 3am Deep Remix of the latter are brand new for this EP, making this ultra-limited 12″ one that no self-respecting 3am fan – or indeed deep house buyer generally – will want to miss.

Out: 3 August (do pay attention) but you’ll want to get your orders in sharpish to make sure it happens!

About: You can find 3am Recordings here, here and here… but the link that really matters tonight is this one so you can buy the damn thing.

Black Blooms – Metropolis

April 29, 2015 in Singles

Black Blooms Metropolis 3am RecordingsEclecticism is definitely the name of the game here at TIWWD tonight… not only have we got three very different records but this one comes in three very different mixes, too.

In its Original form, Metropolis is a bit of a hotch-potch of a tune: it starts out all gurgling and acidic, throws in some Italo/nu-disco synths then gets all proggy on yo’ ass. It’ll keep bodies moving but to these ears it’s all about the remixes, as Hot Lipps Inc serve up a discofied deep/tech house rub that bites a hefty vocal chunk from D-Train’s classic Music while Noseur apply lashings of fat, squelchy analogue synth-bass on a darker, more heads-down pass that to these ears is the cream of the crop.

Out: This week (on general release)

About: This is brought to you by Al Bradley’s 3am Recordings, who as ever can be found here, here and here.

Al Bradley – Remixed At 3am

October 6, 2013 in Singles

Al Bradley Remixed At 3am 3am RecordingsRegular readers will know I’ve long been a fan of 3am Recordings (it was on my watch at iDJ that we put out this back in 2004, for instance), and of label boss Al Bradley’s ‘3am Deep’ remixes for all and sundry. So this EP is something of a treat, as eight of said mixes for all and sundry, originally released on various other labels, are gathered together in one place.

Given that there are eight of ’em, I’m not going into each track/mix individually. But the original artists involved are 2 Billion Beats, Craig Stewart, Funkdamentalist, Honom, Max Conte & Blackmode, Nick Devon, Paul Hardy & McKai and Tim Wolff, plus Al himself in one instance. And in all eight instances, expect nothing but the finest deep house dancefloor grooves.

Special mention must be made of Craig’s discofied Karman Line and the twisted, druggy afterhours wrongnesss of Nick Devon’s So Addicted, but it’s all good. As they say.

Out: This week

About: Find 3am Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Ben Dean – SuperBlueMod EP

August 5, 2013 in Singles

Ben Dean SuperBlueMod EP 3am RecordingsAnd speaking of being old… who’s up for a spot of dirty, throbbing acid house?

Actually, simply to describe Mod Depth, the lead cut here, as ‘acid house’ would be to over-simplify the picture. ‘The bastard post-acid offspring of I Feel Love’, might be a fairer description. ‘Sleazy 21st century drug music’, might be another. Anyway it rocks like a demented warehouse bastard and it might well make you feel a bit sick if you hear it on big speakers. It’s that kind of record.

The Vex Vexino Baptized Remix drops to “today’s lower tempos” (thank you, Daz adverts) and will suit the lovers of monged-out nu disco/slo-mo house, while Superlazer sits somewhere between the two tempo-wise and again isn’t shy of getting the 303 out, and The Blue Room is probably best filed under ‘leftfield Balearica’. “Breaky nu-disco through to bass-led house” is how the hype sheet describes the EP as a whole, which to me simply suggests the label themselves don’t really know what to call it either.

But none of that really matters cos while those three are all playable it’s the hypnotic, brain-scorching Mod Depth that’s the tooled-up, mohair suited ace face here without a doubt.

Out: Today on Beatport, everywhere else from 2 September

About: This comes on 3am Recordings, and apparently will be the last from them till December… they’re certainly ducking out in style… anyway you can find ’em on Soundcloud and Facebook

Howard Sessions – Dusted EP

June 8, 2013 in Singles

Howard Sessions Dusted EP 3am RecordingsThis came out on Monday, and now I look more closely at the hype sheet, I wish I’d reviewed it then, because the 3 June release date was chosen to mark ten years to the day since 3am Recordings’ first-ever release. Sorry Al… but happy belated birthday anyway!

Lost My Dog regular Howard Sessions is the man they’ve invited round for jelly and ice cream. Dusted in its original form is a dreamy, drifty but still energetic deep houser, tailor-made for afterhours floors and sporting a cheeky vocal steal from Circuit 22’s classic Shelter Me (also half-inched by Bizarre Inc back in the day). Audiotonic then serves up a lo-slung and chunkier refix with some killer wah-wah guitar licks.

You also get three mixes of Big Mike, a team-up between Howard and his brother Makka, all sporting the same sampled, spoken female vocal. The original could be Dave Lee with his Akabu head on, while a remix from Cargo resident Black Blooms operates in similar territory but with a heavier, druggier feel. Askani’s Latin Fusion Mix is fairly self-explanatory, really, though I’ve gotta say I’m not as convinced by the speeded-up vox here.

Nonetheless, a fine way to mark ten years in the game.

Out: This week, obviously

About: Send ‘I am 10’ badges to 3am via Soundcloud or Facebook

Poussez – Fourth Warrior EP

May 8, 2013 in Singles

Poussez Fourth Warrior EP 3am RecordingsArtizan Music bosses Jafar and Maxime, AKA Poussez, serve up a second EP (after last year’s Sandcastle Society) for Al Bradley’s 3am Recordings here. And it’s an EP that might surprise you – it surprised me anyway, cos this is as techy a release as I can ever remember hearing from the lads.

Fourth Warrior itself is a moody, pulsing cut with a strong Detroitian influence… a track that wouldn’t sound remotely out of place in a Garnier or Carl Craig set. RPO is an even bleepier, synthier affair, while Alboom is a slow, druggy houser with its own twisted take on the classic Nina Simone Feeling Good vocal, perfect for warm-up or afterhours play. Making up a foursome is a Rob’s No Ears Remix of the latter, which sees the Classic stalwart taking us into typically freaked-out territory.

Quality stuff all round… as you’d expect from all concerned really!

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 3 June.

About: This year marks a decade in the game for 3am, if I haven’t mentioned that before… worrying really cos I remember when they were just starting out and it only seems like yesterday! Anyway, find ’em on Facebook or Soundcloud why don’t ye?

Carlo Gambino – Midnight Social EP

March 3, 2013 in Singles

Carlo Gambino Midnight Social EP 3am RecordingsA three-track EP here from Carlo Gambino, coming – confusingly – not on his own Midnight Social Recordings, but on the label where he first made his name, Al Bradley’s 3am Recordings. And with – even more confusingly – not a saxophone in earshot, despite the cover artwork!

Game Face is up first, a bassy, wonky, midtempo kinda affair with a very familiar female vocal sample and some pleasingly tinkling Rhodes alongside an infectious, squelchy synth riff. Next, It’s Alright is another midtempo chugger with a nagging high-end synth riff and a counterpointing low-end organ drone, all topped off with one of those house-eulogising vocals… but, unusually, from a woman’s voice. And then finally, Deepa is a drummy, throbbing workout that goes, well… deeper.

Three solid cuts for contemporary floors.

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 1 April.

About: You can find 3am Recordings on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Al Bradley – 3am Deep

February 9, 2013 in Singles

Al Bradley 3am Deep EP 3am RecordingsA rather fine three-tracker here from my old friend Al Bradley, coming of course on his own 3am Recordings. And doing pretty much what it says on the tin!

3am Deep itself is classic-style deep house, its lush piano chords and crisp 4/4s given a modern twist by the use of some more contemporary-sounding synths. Architektur is a more ‘now’ bassy throbber, but good as both those are my pick of the bunch would be the nostalgic Stereosleazin, with its liberal use of the TB-303 and a spoken (black, male) vocal enthusing about “a drug called music, a music called acid”.

Top-drawer stuff from a label that’s getting quite venerable these days…  especially given that I remember when they were the young upstarts on the block!

Out: This week

About: You can find 3am Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Rob Clarke – Sometimes EP

November 11, 2012 in Singles

Rob Clarke Sometimes EP Bounce House

There’s no stopping the Beats Me Music boss right now, as he follows last week’s Organica EP with a five-tracker on the mighty Bounce House.

The EP’s made up of three mixes of Sometimes itself, plus two bonus cuts. Sometimes is a fairly stripped-down deep house groove in its original form, the sparse production allowing the chiming synths and the hefty sample from Whitney’s classic Love Will Save The Day to really ring out.  Label boss DK Watts supplies a remix that’s a little more chugging and throbby, while a 3am Classic Dub sees Al Bradley in typically fine and very deep, afterhours-friendly form. Elsewhere on the EP, Repeater is a techier, synthier and slightly spooky, ominous kinda joint while Solar is more organic and warm-up friendly.

TIWWD has long believed Beats Me Music deserves a wider audience, and Rob putting out nuggets like this on respected labels like Bounce House certainly won’t harm their cause any!

Out: This week

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