Ariane Blank & Albena Flores – Feel The Light/Uncolored

May 5, 2016 in Singles

Ariane Blank & Albena Flores Feel The Light Shoes Bags & BoysGloriously deep house vibes on this two-tracker from Germany’s ever-checkable Shoes Bags & Boys.

On the A, Feel The Light is an unhurried, dubby affair with rolling beats, resonant piano chords and just a hint of minimal glitch. Flip it over, and Uncolored is a smoother deep house ride built to accompany you on your travels as you drift off into inner space…

Not picking a fave here cos I’m loving both!

Out: This week

About: Find Shoes Bags & Boys on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Rishi K – Strange & Beautiful

January 31, 2016 in Singles

Rishi K Strange & Beautiful Sonic Soul RecordsThe witching hour approacheth, so this is the last review for tonight… and what a way to finish. If Rishi K with Tom Lown, Ariane Blank and Jero Nougues remixes doesn’t get your juices flowing, you’re clearly reading this blog by mistake!

Rishi’s original version of Strange & Beautiful, then, is a fairly mellow but still floor-friendly deep house groover, with vocoded “funky music!” vocal stabs, “come on!” interjections, synths redolent of Joey Negro at his most spacey and a warm, chugging bassline that underpins it all. Shoes, Bags & Boys boss Blank brings us a stripped-back, dubbier, twitchier rub that foregrounds some Afro-tinged percussion, Jero’s rub essentially follows the Original’s blueprint but dials back the vox, while Tom Lown takes us into proper late-night territory with added yearnsome female vocal wails and synths that flutter their way to Andromeda and back.

Classy stuff all round, but then from a line-up like that, what did you expect?

Out: This week

About: This comes on US label Sonic Soul Records, who you can find on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Boys At SBB Vol 10

September 6, 2015 in Singles

Boys At SBB Vol 10 Shoes Bags & BoysGermany’s ever-excellent Shoes Bags & Boys present a 10th installment in their Boys At… EP series here, and a very fine addition to the series it is too.

We start off in very deep, dubby house/techno territory, as label bosses Ariane Blank & Albena Flores’ Sisters and Time To Waste get remixed by Juan Lombardo and Mauro Basso, respectively. Blank’s own Brain Out Idea as remixed by Leo Lang is a tropical-rhythm’d deep houser that’d work in the warm-up or for late-night, post-club play equally well, while Mikrohouse.net’s take on Tulia sits more firmly under the deep techno/minimal umbrella, as does Tim Englehart’s take on ChixUnighted’s Blue Rumours. As the EP draws to a close, we then veer into throbbing, prog-tinged pastures with Rishi K’s rub of ChixUnighted’s Peaceful World and Abu Bayar’s remix of En Da Lu by Stiva Carlberg, before ending on a smoother note with the Ben Ankes Remix of Like Me, again by Ms Carlberg.

Extremely classy stuff all round… then again from SBB we expect no less! It would appear to be the label’s 50th release as well, so congratulations to them on reaching that landmark, and here’s to much more to come…

Out: This week

About: Find Shoes Bags & Boys on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Ariane Blank – Brain Out Idea/Tulia

May 20, 2015 in Singles

Ariane Blank Brain Out Idea Shoes Bags & BoysBack on the case after yesterday’s technical difficulties, and “we continue”, as Pete Tong used to say, with some very fine deep vibes from Shoes Bags & Boys co-owner on Ariane Blank on, you guessed it, Shoes Bags & Boys.

Just the two tracks to choose from. Brain Out Idea itself is a dubby groover with echoing FX, woodblock percussion and long, lingering synth washes. Flip it and you’ll find Tulia, a track that mixes similarly dubby sounds with a strong Berlin influence… even if  SB&B are located 300 miles away in Friedberg.

Both tracks are as classy as we’ve come to expect from SB&B but Brain Out Idea takes the gold for me.

Out: This week

About: Find Shoes Bags & Boys on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Ariane Blank & Albena Flores – Turbulent World

May 11, 2015 in Singles

Ariane Blank Albena Flores Turbulent Times DropsTypically fine fare from the Shoes Bags & Boys bosses here, albeit this comes not on their own label but on Miami’s Drops.

Three mixes of Turbulent World to choose from. The original is a lolloping, midtempo dubby groove that’ll appeal to lovers of deep house and deep techno/minimal in equal measure. The Loudbass Remix is even smokier and dubbier while beefing up the beats a notch, while the Torin Lawson Remix ups the pace a smidgeon, taking us into more clear-cut ‘dub techno’ territory, while adding some snatches of spoken female vocal and tinkling ivories.

Liking all three but if pushed I think Loudbass just nudges it, with the Original not far behind.

Out: This week

About: Find Drops, which is part of the Liquid Music stable, on Facebook or at their own website.

Various – Boys At SBB Vol 9

December 27, 2014 in Singles

Boys at SBB Vol 9 Shoes, Bags & BoysAnother V/A offering from another very dependable label – in this case, Ariane Blank and Albena Flores’s Shoes, Bags & Boys, who here have let five possessors of Y chromosomes apply their remix skills to five tracks by SBB’s stable of strictly XX artists.

Don’t really have time to dig out the orginals for comparison right now, but Leo Lang’s take on Albena Flores’s Sparkling Dreams is a contemplative, midtempo affair, while Mikrohouse.net’s remix of Ariane Blank’s Tinkle Time operates in similar territory. Abu Bayer serves up a deliciously languid and dubby refix of ChixUnighted’s Sunshine Waltz, and then finally not one but two Indiro Boka tracks get the remix treatment, Not My Day becoming in Deep Spelle’s hands a moody, lolloping deep house groove topped with Radiophonic Workshop-esque synth wibbles, while Krummstoff’s Purple Dub of Pinky Clouds is a stripped-back gem featuring tribal-leaning percussion and some understated old-skool pianos.

All told, this is classy, forward-thinking stuff that will appeal to those who like their house on the more spacey/cerebral side, with Sunshine Waltz and Not My Day just nudging it for me.

Out: This week

About: Find Shoes, Bags & Boys on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Ariane Blank – No Command

April 30, 2014 in Singles

Ariane Blank No Command Shoes, Bags & BoysSome typically fine deep house grooves here from Shoes, Bags & Boys, coming from label co-owner Ariane Blank.

Both the featured tracks are instrumentals. On the A-side, No Command itself is a unhurried, dubby chugger but with drums that veer towards the techier end of the deep house spectrum, while over on the B, Fire Up operates in similarly dubbed-out territory, but with slightly mellower kicks and a dreamier, more Balearic feel overall.

Languid, late-night grooves of the highest calibre, not much more to say really.

Out: This week

About: You can find Shoes, Bags & Boys on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Ariane Blank & Albena Flores – Ting & Bagged

December 16, 2013 in Singles

Ariane Blank & Albena Flores Ting & Bagged Shoes, Bags & BoysSome fine deep, tech-tinged house grooves on this two-tracker from Shoes, Bags & Boys, brought to you by the label owners.

Ting is up first, a lilting, dubby affair that’ll work equally well in the warm-up or for post-club chilling. Over on the B, meanwhile, Bagged is even more laidback and dubbed-out, with echo-laden piano chords, lingering atmo’s and tiny, haunting fragments of vocal sitting atop a steady rolling rhythm.

Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream…

Out: Today

About: You can find Shoes, Bags & Boys on Soundcloud and Facebook. As the latter page will inform you, “The label is located in Ulm (southern Germany) and focuses on girly-deep-minimal-tech-house music.”

Various – Boys at SSB Vol 8

November 30, 2013 in Singles

Boys At SBB Vol 8 Shoes, Bags & BoysDeep house from the techier side is the general order of the day on this excellent sampler EP from Shoes, Bags & Boys.

The premise is simple. Take nine back-catalogue tracks from seven (mostly, though not exclusively, female) artists, and get nine (I think all-male?) artists to remix them. As you’d expect with that many cooks stirring the musical pot there’s a fair amount of variety on offer – from, say, the bassy, R&B-vocalled main room deep/tech vibes of Jo Beshcil’s remix of Clara Noemi’s Lost Body, to the eyes-down 6am deepness of John Tejada’s refix of label boss Ariane Blank’s You Don’t Even Know Me (a track that’s been feted on TIWWD before), to the almost ambient, late-night grooves of Mikrohouse.net’s take on Om Phonic’s Yes Please More Please.

But that said, no-one’s steering too far away from the basic ‘deep, techy house’ blueprint, which means this is one sampler EP that works as an album, as well as it does as a collection of DJ tools. Highly recommended for Shoes, Bags & Boys fans, it would also be a great place to start if you’ve yet to discover the Frankfurt-based crew as most of the label’s key artists are represented.

Out: This week

About: You can find Shoes, Bags & Boys on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Ladylike Vol 3

September 29, 2013 in Singles

Ladylike Vol 3 Shoes, Bags & BoysWith Ariane Blank having impressed so much with her remixes lately, it seems churlish not to give a shout to this latest V/A set from her Shoes, Bags & Boys label.

Four tracks on offer. Ms Blank herself is up first with You Don’t Even Know Me, nothing to do with the Armand classic of the same name but rather a deep, techy midtempo instrumental groove centred around woodblock-ish percussion and phased chords. Similarly plonky drum sounds adorn Words And Dreams from ChixUnighted, which truth be told operates in very similar territory all round, albeit here the percussion gets a bit glitchy for yours truly in places. Clara Noemi then takes us into afterhours territory with Lost Body, which starts out all deep n’ dubby then adds layers of synthy oddness, all topped with a looping male “I feel ’em… it’s okay” (I think he’s saying) male vocal, while finally Om Phonic’s Serpentine is a sparse, wonky, minimal-leaning cut.

It’s You Don’t Even Know Me that’s the killer here for me, though.

Out: This week

About: Find Shoes, Bags & Boys on Soundcloud and Facebook.