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.

Low Tone – You’ll Be Lucky EP

April 19, 2015 in Singles

Low Tone You'll Be Lucky EP What HappensA two-track, four-mix EP here from Tim Andresen’s ever-checkable What Happens imprint and Low Tone, AKA the Yorkshire duo of Al ‘3am Recordings’ Bradley and Carlo ‘Midnight Social’ Gambino.

You’ll Be Lucky itself, in its original form, is a crackly, tuff-but-deep house groover with crisp beats, monstrous rolling bass, moody synth washes and a “hey, who do you think I am?” female vocal sample. Howard Sessions’ remix tones down the atmospherics and opts for warmer 4/4s and a different bassline, while adding a spoken male vocal and fat, squelchy synths. The other original cut, Goin’ On, uses a female “You got it goin’ on” vocal that’s a little too close to Groove Armada’s I See You Baby (AKA the most annoying vocal in house music history) for comfort, but that’s a personal thing… otherwise it’s a nice warm, chunky deep house chugger sporting some trippy FX/atmospherics that make it a cert for small-hours play, while Phasen’s refix is a techier, dare I say proggier pass with some great spangled keys action.

All four are plenty playable, as you’d expect from such a heavyweight line-up, but the Howard Sessions mix takes the gold for me.

Out: This week

About: You can find What Happens here, here and here.

Various – The Very Best Of Bounce House Vol 2

December 22, 2014 in Albums

The Very Best Of Bounce House Vol 2From jackin’, percussive tech-house grooves courtesy of MadTech we move on to bumpin’ floor-friendly deep house shenanigans courtesy of Bounce House.

Now then… regular readers will know I’m a bit of a Bounce House fan generally, and with this being a ‘best of’, all the tracks here HAVE been out before. So I won’t wax too lyrical right now… suffice to say that if you like your deep house on the traditional side – warm, organic and funk-fuelled, as opposed to cool, clinical and Berlin-y – then if you aren’t already familiar with this fine ex-west coast, now Amsterdam-based imprint,this collection is your perfect opportunity to get acquainted.

Names like Al Bradley, Grant Dell and Rob Clarke, as well of course as label founders Short Bus Kids and the now-solo DK Watts, should be enough to tempt most knowledgeable deep house lovers, with Rob’s Whitney-sampling Sometimes a particular highlight. And on a personal note, it’s good to hear Blow & Hos again – that was the track that first alerted me to the genius of the Short Bus Kids nearly a whole decade ago, and it’s still sounding mighty fresh today!

Out: Now

About: Find Bounce House here, here and here.

Filthy Geeks & DJ Roland Clark – We Love Our House Music

March 16, 2014 in Singles

Filthy Geeks Roland Clark We Love Our House Music DualismAnd from one US house veteran to another! Apparently this team up between the legendary Roland Clark and the UK duo of Stu Allan & Adam Wagstaff, AKA Filthy Geeks, first dropped last year… must have missed it then but not to worry because here are no fewer than eight new mixes to choose from.

All the mixes see Mr Clark in full-on preacherman mode, preaching – of course – the gospel of house: “We live for this music, we’d die for this music, we dance to this music, we cry to this music/Body rock to this music, don’t stop to this music, put our hands in the air and don’t care if we lose it”. The mixes come from Luca M & JUST2, Al Bradley, SundayClub, Gus Bonani, Ricardo Galindo, KP Deep Mesh, Carlos Alfaro and Cales & Mr Hyde… and because there are eight of them I’m not going into each and every rub. Suffice to say that house lovers of many different tastes will be catered for, but Al’s 3am Bodyrock Dub and the KP Deep Mesh Mix are standouts for yours truly, with SundayClub’s darker, more twisted pass also deserving an honourable mention.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by Dualism Records, who you can find on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Mane Savanovic – Turn Back Time EP

January 25, 2014 in Singles

Mane Savanovic Turn Back Time EP Deep Site RecordingsGonna keep it on a deep house tip tonight, starting with this latest from Croatia’s Deep Site Recordings. Mane Savanovic is a new name to me, but Deep Site can pretty much always be relied on to deliver the goods and when you factor in Al Bradley and Rishi K on remix duties, this starts to look like something of a no-brainer!

Sounds like one, too. In its original form, Turn Back Time is a late-night, dreamy affair with sweet-as-sugar, vaguely UKG-ish fem vox and densely layered synths that zoom across the room from one speaker to another. Al Bradley’s 3am Deep Dub does what Al’s 3am Deep Dubs always do, transforming the cut into a heads-down afterhours workout, while Rishi’s melodic pass could take it to proggier floors and Zuko’s rub (another new name) ventures into glitchier, techier territory.

Despite the remix talent on display though, it’s the original that works best for me here. Just lovely.

Out: This week

About: Find Deep Site Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Variouser and variouser…

December 1, 2013 in Singles

Been absolutely inundated with music this week so here’s just a quick round-up of a few V/A EPs you’d be well advised to check out…

All Night Long Svoque MuziqVarious – All Night Long
We’ll start with this six-artist, six-track sampler from Barcelona’s Svogue Muziq. And a pretty heavyweight line-up it is too, with Carlo Gambino & Al Bradley, Low District, LowLife and Matteo Floris all representing alongside Fabio Carla & Matteo San and Manuel Del Giudice. Expect very fine deep house grooves, often with a techy twist, with Low District’s deep n’ groovy Just Dance the standout for yours truly.

Autumn Air Vol 2 DeepWit RecordingsVarious – Autumn Air Vol 2
Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of Denmark’s DeepWit stable and this latest V/A offering doesn’t disappoint. Focusing on the kind of chilled, uber-deep grooves the label does best, with the emphasis on up-and-coming artists, tracks come from Portofino Sunrise, Adjust, DMP, Reeggo and Mr P, with standouts for me including the stripped n’ saxy late-night garaahge of Reeggo’s Raisin N’ Peach, and DMP’s blissed-out Lexion.

Dive Into Illusion Les Folies DigitalesVarious – Dive Into Illusion EP
A three-artist, three-track sampler here from Zurich’s Les Folies Digitales label. Allgoritmika’s Todo Meu Amor marries crisp tech-house beats with a positively rude bassline and snatches of attitude-y vocal, Space Dive by Frank Fonema is a laidback nu-disco/Balearic funker, and Rino Buttice’s Mere Illusion is a minimal-influenced affair, all delicate stuttering rhythms and synthy atmospherics. It’s only the label’s second-ever release so show some love!

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.

City Soul Project – Sunday

March 29, 2013 in Singles

City Soul Project Sunday i! RecordsSomething of a British invasion thing going on here, as Scott ‘Savoir Faire’ Harrington and Ryan Briggs’s City Soul Project come to legendary New Jersey label i! Records, bringing some other big names from the UK’s deep house scene with them.

The original version of Sunday is a musical, midtempo affair, with fat live-sounding bass, muted strings, jazzy geetar runs and subdued crowd noise… perfect for Sunday mornings, in fact! Al Bradley & Howard Sessions beef up the kicks on their remix and go for a slightly more stripped-down feel that retains the luxuriance of the original but really lets those cello stabs shine through, while Martijn’s rub is a sparser, dubbier pass for very late floors.

With such a stellar line-up this was never gonna fail really… proper jazzy, soulful deep bizniss.

Out: This week

About: Find i! Records on Facebook or at their own website.

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.