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.

Soul Equation – After Dark EP

December 6, 2015 in Singles

Soul Equation After Dark EP Artefact RecordsA pleasingly varied three-tracker here from Soul Equation, who’s based in the northwest of England.

After Dark itself is up first, which sits somewhere between laidback deep house and nu-disco, and foregrounds soaring, analogue-sounding synths. Back To Mine is more yer straight-up deep house jam, with nagging chords, tuff-but-muted 4/4s, spacey synths and spoken “don’t stop” vox. And then finally there’s Morning Calling which heads in the other direction, being a slice of druggy, slo-mo disco with some nice fat, squelchy 80s-style analogue synth-bass.

Back To Mine stands out for me, but it’s all good as they say and the variety on offer is testament to Soul Equation’s versatility, suggesting we’ll be hearing much more from this relative newcomer.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you a label who haven’t featured on TIWWD for a little while (since May, in fact) – Macedonia’s Artefact Records. Renew your acquiantance with them on Soundcloud and Facebook.

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.

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.

Goran Tech – Light At The End

October 27, 2014 in Albums

Goran Tech Light At The End Artefact RecordsWe stay on a deep n’ techy tip now as we turn our attention to this full-length offering from Macedonian producer Goran Naumovski Bitola, better known as Goran Tech.

This is his first album in a production career that dates back to 2008, and the predominant musical mood is the very deepest of tech house grooves – as with the RBS comp below, long on melody and atmospherics, and eschewing obvious hooks or ‘build ’em up, knock ’em down’ big room dynamics. But there’s enough variety here to keep things interesting – see for instance the contrast between the acidic 10am, the lighter, more soulfully inclined Hubble and the driving Land Of Hope. And that’s not to mention the handful of downtempo/ambient tracks that are also included.

It all adds up to an album, while it might not make too many end-of-year ‘best of’ lists, certainly makes for a very pleasant 70 minutes of listening.

Out: Today

About: This is brought to you by leading Macedonian label Artefact Records – find ’em on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

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…

Three more…

December 8, 2013 in Singles

The clock’ll be striking midnight soon but these three are too good to overlook…

Sek Inside Out EP Large MusicSek – Inside Out EP
Should really have included this with the other Sek review earlier this week but I didn’t actually realise I had it until it was too late! So yeah, our second of the week from the Greek producer, coming this time on Chicago’s mighty Large Music and featuring three more deep house gems: the appropriately classic-style Back In The Dayz, the soulfully-inclined Love Unlimited and, best of all, the Jersey-ish bump of Inside Out itself.

Softcash Bangin' Dunn Quantized MusicSoftcash – Bangin’ Dunn
Four tracks of the highest quality tech-house dancefloor struttery here, with all four nicely fat-bottomed – no tedious percussion tracks here – and sporting hip house-style vox. All four will do the do nicely, but if pushed it’s the sweary, walking-bassline’d title cut that’s the most irresistible order to dance of the set. Comes on Greek label Quantized Music, who are based in Athens and who make their TIWWD debut with this.

Unreleased Remixes Artefact RecordsVarious – Unreleased Remixes
This five-track EP from Macedonia’s Artefact Records won’t win any prizes for original EP titles, but it is home to some very more-ish deep and tech house grooves. Artone’s sultry, sexily struttin’ Dub of Nova Generacia’s Waterfall (think Rimini in the 90s) and Mancha’s refix of X Twins’ Innovators (think 5am at The Shelter) are but the standouts from a package you’d frankly be a fool not to check.

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.

Miami samplers 2013

March 17, 2013 in Singles

With the Miami Winter Music Conference now underway, here’s a quick look at the various Miami samplers that have landed in the TIWWD inbox. Always a tricky one, Miami samplers, but I think all of these are available to buy… don’t shoot me if they aren’t, though. In fact don’t shoot me full stop. I’d hate that. Note that this round-up only takes in sampler EPs… there are also several Miami-themed compilation albums coming out round about now but we’ll deal with those separately. In the meantime, in no particular order…

artefactMacedonia’s Artefact Records give us their Spring Sampler: Miami WMC 2013 Edition, which features seven tracks from seven different artists. Expect various shades of deep and tech house but leaning more heavily towards the latter; Alex Serra’s Color Of Your Soul and Mile Grozdanovski’s skippy The Land stand out on the deeper tip, while if you like it deep, dark n’ techy then Monsters Under My Bed from the brilliantly named Blagoj Rambabov ft Igor Kostoski is well worth checking.

chronovisionStaying with labels based in and around the Mediterranean, Chronovision Ibiza have an eight-tracker on offer, simply entitled Miami Sampler 2013. Tracks here range from the deep, dark techno of Dark Phunk’s Break It Down and Mike Menudo’s Vela, to the hipster-friendly deep/tech house vibes of Sasa Mendone’s Hot and the party-tastic hip-house of Cristian Variano’s Gate 3 (Anthems Vocal Remix), so all kinds of DJs should find something to play.

FActomaniaMeanwhile over in Spain, Factomania have been busy cooking up a 10-tracker for you entitled Factomania All-Stars Miami Edition Vol 4. As you’d expect, the emphasis here is largely on drummy tech/tribal grooves, but I’d just point out two things… one, that Matteo Matteini’s Again features yet another hip-house vocal (quite a lot of ’em about at the mo’) and two, that you’ll find some familiar names here such as Ismael Rivas, Ismael Rivas and, of course, label boss and all-round good egg Wally Lopez.

infamousSticking in Spain for a minute, Infamous Recordings go one better and serve up a whopping 11 tracks on THEIR Miami Sampler 2013. Techno and tuff, percussive tech-house is the order of the day and, TBH, a lot of it is a bit hard for my delicate housey ears! But there are some goodies here nonetheless, including the dirty machine funk of Dok Jebeni’s Feeling Sad and Jean Pierre’s atmospheric Covert, while you can also catch Pig & Dan at their most out-there on Moog 3.

kings of grooveAnother Miami Sampler 2013 sits at the opposite end of the spectrum, as Kings Of Groove serve up four tracks aimed at the soulful floors, with Afro/Latin vibes very much to the fore. As regular readers will know I’m not a big fan of the Afro thing so there’s not a lot here that gets yours truly really excited, bar Aphrodisiax’s Where which is a more straight-up 4/4 offering with a cool moody synth hook. But, y’know, plenty will disagree with me!

yellowjaxAs for the WMC 2013 Miami Sampler from New York’s Yellowjax Recordings, well, a lot of the same comments apply as to the Infamous one – tough tech-house and techno in various shades, and much of it a bit too techno for me. But again, there are highlights – Veekatz’s somewhat more housified She Said and Le Broo & Rha Rion’s bass-funkin’ Deep Horizons, for starters. And if loopy, drummy techno IS your bag, then with no fewer than 17 tracks here you won’t go far wrong.

www.protocool.es Illustrator + Cinema 4D + PhotosopBeatfreak Miami 2013, meanwhile, comes of course on Spain’s Beatfreak Recordings and, well, this 15-track, 15-artist collection really couldn’t sound much more Spanish if it tried! As in the Spanish love their drummy techno and tribalistic tech-house, I mean, not as in it’s full of maracas and flamenco guitars n’ stuff. But among a lot of very similar-sounding cuts, Jawoo’s Dependance and Kult Of Krameria’s Satan stand out… mainly for actually having, y’know, basslines and instruments and stuff, not just endless percussion loops!

Room ControlAnd finally for this round-up, after all that drummy bizniss we make a very welcome return to much funkier, groovier house territory with a nine-track WMC Sampler 2013 from fledgling UK label Room Control… a nice mix of newcomers and more familiar names here, with Marlon D, Groove Assassin, the legendary Jovonn and my boy Neil Pierce in the latter camp. ‘Deep and soulful’ would be the overview, with highlights for me including the classic US garage vibes of Marlon D’s It’s Your Life and Groove Assassin’s In And Out Of My Life, and the Chi-town revivalism of Alex Millett’s, er, One Way To Chicago. With Jovonn’s typically deep n’ throbbin’ Everybody Reach and the deeply soulful Fathers (Dub) from Rhemi (the aforesaid Mr Pierce and Ziggy Funk) also deserving a special mention, this is my fave of all the samplers we’ve looked at tonight (though the Artefact one’s pretty damn good too)… so if you’re lucky enough to actually BE at Conference this year, get down to the Vagabond on Tuesday night, where Room Control are celebrating their first birthday, and tell ’em I said so!

PS Oh yeah, and most of these were out this week, a couple are next week. Which is pretty obvious, when you think about it.

Mirock – Hot Ice Cream EP

December 30, 2012 in Singles

Mirock Hot Ice Cream EP Artefact Records

Two tracks of muscular, jackin’, funk-fuelled house/techno here, courtesy of Macedonian producer Mirock.

Hot Ice Cream itself is the techier of the two cuts, an uncompromising fierce rulin’ diva of a tune that you could equally well imagine hearing early doors at Trade back in the glory days, or at 6am in some dubious warehouse now. Er, probably. Complications, on the other side, is a tad housier but just as fierce and firing.

Both should serve your dancefloor-moving purposes admirably.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Artefact Records, who are also from Macedonia and who can be found on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.