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.

Alek Soltirov & Green Sequence – Show Me

January 1, 2016 in Singles

Alek Soltirov & Green Sequence Show Me ArtefactMoving into deeper house waters now with this latest offering from Macedonia’s Artefact Records.

On the A, Show Me itself is a slice of classic-style deep house in the west coast/east midlands vein, complete with swung beats, piano chords to die for and garage-y female vocal snips to, er, die for all over again. Over on the B, meanwhile, U Know is an even more garage-leaning affair with its soulful male “feel” vox, hip-swayin’ beats and dreamy, disco-loungey synth-string sweeps. Bumpin’!

Artefact can generally be relied to come up with the quality (proper) deep house grooves, and they certainly don’t disappoint here.

Out: This week

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

Alek Soltirov – Nothing You Can Do EP

October 17, 2015 in Singles

Alek Soltirov Nothing You Can Do EP Different AttitudesAfter yesterday’s tuffer selections, gonna keep it strictly on a house n’ garage tip tonight, kicking off with this two-tracker from Different Attitudes.

On the A, Nothing You Can Do itself is a gorgeously warm lil’ groover sitting right on the house/garage cusp, with cut-up fem vox leading into a full vocal. Flip it over and Too Many Questions is a little more sparse but just as deep, with warbling synth notes, cut-up male vox this time and organ chords sitting atop muted, rolling beats.

Both are highly playable but the title cut nudges it for me – that vocal is just glorious.

Out: This week on Traxsource, everywhere else from 26 October

About: Find Different Attitudes on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Alek Soltirov – Untouchable Funk EP

October 3, 2015 in Singles

Alek Soltirov Untouchable Funk EP Nite GroovesOkay, after being ill for much of the week it’s time to start playing catch-up, starting with this very fine two-tracker from Nite Grooves.

On the A, Untouchable Funk itself is indeed pretty much untouchable, a superb slice of jazz-inspired house music underpinned by a warm walking bassline and topped with some ace tinkling ivories. Flip it over for That’s All We’ve Got, which treads a similar path but swaps out the pianos for what sounds like a Hammond organ.

That’s What We’ve Got is good, but Untouchable Funk is awesome.

Out: This week

About: Find Nite Grooves and the rest of the King Street label family here, here and here.

Various – Different Attitudes For The Summer 2015

July 12, 2015 in Albums

Different Attitudes For The Summer 2015Another strong compilation set from Different Attitudes here, featuring 10 deep/tech house nuggets from as many different artists.

3Kilo’s Feel It gets the ball rolling in contemporary-style deep house fashion, followed by 4BeatClub’s slow-chuggin’, almost new beat-ish Automaton. Alek Soltirov’s Pulsar Wind rocks sparse drums and busy synths, while Alternate Roots bring a little classic house/garage flava with the female-vocalled, funk-fuelled Different Spaces. Cartoon’s Dive Me sees us back in more contemporary territory with its soulful male vox and fat, squelchy bass, and we stay there for Jon Sweetname’s Muzungu, a synthier cut. Lee Mace’s Liquid Love with its dark, rumbling bass, skippy beats and sweet fem vox is where the garage lovers will want to head first, while if it’s bouncy M1 vibes you’re after look no further than Nacho Riveros’s Let’s Dance. Next To You by Revivis is a crunchy, techy and slightly wonkified affair topped with more soulful male vox, and finally Underfloor’s B.O.W plays us out in trippy, heads-down 4am fashion.

Something for everyone, really… but the Alternate Roots, Lee Mace, 4BeatClub and Nacho Riveros offerings stand out for this reviewer.

Out: This week on Traxsource, everywhere else from 20 July

About: Find Different Attitudes, as ever, on Soundcloud and Facebook.

PS: The more observant among you may notice that the tracks are listed here in alphabetical order of artist, which is a tad unusual… but I checked and that does appear to be the order they’re in.

Alek Soltirov – That Good Place

June 30, 2015 in Singles

Alek Soltirov That Good Place EP Artefact RecordsMacedonian producer Alek Soltirov impressed last week with a two-tracker for Different Attitudes; now here he comes again with this offering on Macedonia’s own Artefact Records.

In its Original form, That Good Place is a sunny, midtempo house groove with vaguely proggy overtones, some nice squelchy synth work and fragments of spoken male vocal. Pavle Vasiljevic is first up to the remix plate with a slightly chuggier, bassier rub that brings the vocal to the fore and adds cascading keys which don’t half sound like the twiddly bit from Hall & Oates’ I Can’t Go For That. Ryan Truman’s bouncier pass follows, before the EP comes to an end with Touch, a just-slightly more driving houser with a lolloping,  wonked-out feel not unlike Kerri Chandler’s early work.

The latter cut and Vasiljevic’s mix of the title track share top honours for me but to be fair the other two are also pretty darn groovy.

Out: Today!

About: Find Artefact Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Alek Soltirov – I’m Thinking Of You EP

June 27, 2015 in Singles

Alek Soltirov I'm Thinking Of You EP Different AttitudesMacedonian producer Alek Soltirov makes his Different Attitudes debut with a two-track EP here.

On the A, I’m Thinking Of You is a midtempo groover that’s heavily influenced by the sounds of 80s boogie and jazz-funk, and that sports a sweet female vocal sampled from Veronica’s 1998 R&B hit Someone To Hold. Flip it and you’ll find Step To Me, a lazy, laidback deep houser with chopped-up fem vox and some nice squelcy synth sounds.

Step To Me is cool but it’s I’m Thinking Of You that stands out for me.

Out: This week (on general release)

About: You can find Different Attitudes on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Spring Sampler Pt 1

May 26, 2015 in Singles

Spring Sampler Pt 1 Artefact RecordsMore quality house vibes on this four-artist, four-track sampler from Macedonia’s always v. checkable Artefact Records.

Alek Soltirov’s Secret Love opens proceedings, essentially quite a traditional, garage-y affair with its lingering chords, chopped-up sweet female “oh baby when you come to me” vocal and skippy beats, though there’s also enough buzzy bass on hand to ensure it sounds contemporary at the same time. Soul Equation’s After Dark is one for the proper deep house floors c.4am with its parping keys, space-y synth washes and general blissed-out feel, Green Sequence’s Warmup Floor starts with ominous bass and chilling synths before dropping down into a surging, euphoric yet nonetheless laidback groove that’s got “Ibiza sundown” written all over it, and finally Aloidia from Ramorae is a more electronic, techy affair to start with, before coming with the kind of spastic, cut-up jazz grooves that Classic used to specialise in.

Secret Love is my personal fave but to be fair there’s not a duff cut in sight.

Out: Last week

About: Find Artefact Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Alek Soltirov – Warmup Toolz

January 27, 2014 in Singles

Alek Soltirov Warmup Toolz ArtefactMethinks Alek Soltirov – who hails from Skopje in Macedonia, and who’s still only in his teens – is selling himself a little short here. The title of this EP suggests workaday grooves aimed merely at setting the mood… whereas the tracks herein tell a different story.

Oxyd gets the ball rolling. Yes, it’d work in the warm-up, but with its chopped-up vox, lovely reverberating stabs and insistent throbbing-yet-understated bassline, it’d work just as well on afterhours floors or for post-club listening: this is classic-style deep house groovin’ at its finest. And then Fake Thugz, which comes in three mixes, is if anything even better. The original ploughs a similar musical furrow to Oxyd, but tops its mellow, bassy groove with looping rap vox (“to all you fake-ass thugz out there/talkin’ bout you got this and you got that/you gonna murder this one and you gonna murder that one/talking all that bullshit”) to quite devastating effect… particularly when the big rave-y bass drops unexpectedly halfway through. Bruno Browning’s refix maintains the deep vibe but injects a greater sense of urgency with extra hi-hats and random sax parps, while Robert S goes for the main floor jugular with his beefed-up pass.

But it’s actually the two originals that stand out here for me… meaning that this is one teenaged producer you definitely want to be keeping an eye on. And that mere ‘warmup toolz’ these most definitely are not!

Out: Thursday (30 Jan)

About: This comes on Macedonia’s own Artefact Records, who you can find on Soundcloud and Facebook (they’ve got their own website as well but they seem to have the menders in at the moment)

PS: Here’s Fake Thugz to listen to as well…

Alek Soltirov – Deep Jack EP

September 6, 2013 in Singles

Alek Soltirov Deep Jack EP Artefact RecordsDon’t really feel I need to say much about this one… the title says it all!

But just so’s we’re clear… Macedonian producer serves up a four-track EP for Macedonian label Artefact and to say he’s a young lad at the start of his production career, the results are nothing short of spectacular. Bouncin’, bumpin’, jackin’ deep house grooves are indeed the order of the day on all four cuts and I DEFY you to listen to this and sit still.

Soltirov is a name we’ll be hearing a lot more from, methinks… or at least I certainly hope so.

Out: This week

About: You can find Artefact Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website. Also check out Alek’s own Soundcloud to hear more of his stuff and grab a cheeky Forget Me Nots bootleg.