Various – Jump Volume 1

May 8, 2016 in Albums

Jump Vol 1 Jump DigitalWe stay in tech-house territory now with the first-ever label comp from As I Am’s London-based imprint Jump Digital.

While it’d be fair to file the album under ‘tech-house’ generally, I should also say that there is actually some variety on offer here. Opener Baby Boo by Jesse James, for instance, comes on like a late-90s speed garage remix of Destiny’s Child or TLC, while Digital Three’s Dope has distinct echoes of Brit-house from the mid-90s. But overall, big bouncy tech-house bizniss is the general order of the day, with Argy Kay’s Answer and Behic Fellowes’ sinuous, acid-tinged Alright particularly worthy of your attention.

A great collection from a label I’ll be keeping a closer eye on in future!

Out: This week

About: You can find Jump Digital on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Straight Underground House Vol 2

July 21, 2015 in Albums

Straight Underground House Vol 2 Straight AHEAD MusicAnother label comp here, this one coming from Sascha Sonido’s Straight AHEAD imprint over in Germany. Not overly familiar with the label TBH, so I’m not entirely sure but I think it’s new material rather than a best of, and the commercial release has 13 tracks plus a continuous mix from Rich Wakley.

Sadly the mixed version wasn’t included in the promo but the 13 individual tracks are certainly worth checking out, particularly if that more contemporary, chunky style of deep/tech house is your thang. With a mix of familiar names (As I Am, Raffa FL, Italoboyz, Cozzy D, Jey Kurmis, Jacky UK and Wakley himself) and newcomers, the emphasis is on floorburners from start to finish, so if it’s a carefully curated, genre-defying ‘journey’ you’re after this might not be the collection for you. But if you just want a load of fresh DJ ammo then come right on in, with highlights for me including Italoboyz feat Durant’s Anschluss with its frankly bizarre sampled vocal, Katal’s UK Mood with its injection of driving techno beats into an otherwise very garage-y sound palette, and Lee Jeffrey’s Don’t Break It which makes fine, imaginative use of a VERY familiar vocal.

Out: Last week (but last week was stupid busy, sorry bout dat)

About: You can find Straight AHEAD Music here, here and here.

Some albums, quickly…

June 22, 2015 in Albums

A few albums dropped last week that I still haven’t told you about… so here they are now.

Tulioxi While The City Sleeps Cosmic SumoTulioxi – While The City Sleeps
Italian producer Mattia Tulioxi drops his second album on his own Cosmic Sumo Records, following 2013’s The Last Man In Florence and apparently comprised of “tracks made over the past three years that for one reason or another were never published”. At just eight tracks long it’s a little brief by modern standards, admittedly, but for those of us that grew up with vinyl that shouldn’t be a problem… particularly not when you’re talking about an album that blends deep house, nu-disco, cosmic/Italo, a hint of 80s electro and the occasional dash of acid to such glorious effect! Trouble In Cuba and Mechanic Cherry are where I’d head first.
More info

Smiley Fingers Goes To Barcelona Smiley FingersVarious – Smiley Fingers Goes To Barcelona
Smiley Fingers have come a long way in the past half-decade or so. Once specialising in party-hearty tech-house à la Great Stuff or Deeperfect, in recent times they’ve been ploughing a deeper house furrow, as I’ve pointed out (and applauded) several times on this blog. And this new compilation, released to coincide with Sonar, shows yet another side to the Italian-run but London-based imprint, with tough, sinuous tech-house grooves the general order of the day and one or two excursions into full-blown techno… but always with the funk flowing. With label stalwarts Larry Cadge, Rick Sanders and Florian Gasperini joined by a host of newer names, this is well worth checking.
More info

Simma Black Vol 4 Simma BlackVarious – Simma Black Vol 4
Low Steppa serves up a fourth ‘best of’ comp from his Simma Black imprint here, featuring a bunch of names that should be familiar to TIWWD readers (AS I AM, Mike Millrain, Lex Luca, Vanilla Ace, Bluford Duck) and a whole load more that won’t be. With a whopping 26 tracks, there’s no faulting this package on the VFM front; what’s more impressive is that the quality seldom slips either. Ranging from G-house to out-and-out speed garage revivalism, it’s as fine a snapshot of the currently state-of-play vis à vis bass-centric house music as you’ll hear all month, with Millrain’s diva-vocalled Let The Spirit, Bumpy Fool’s driving Talkin’ Bout and Curtis Gabriel’s throbbing Voodoo good places to start.
More info

Low Steppa Troubles Simma Black

Low Steppa – Troubles [Deluxe Edition]
It’s that man again… as if the Simma Black comp above wasn’t enough, last week also saw the release of this new version of the label boss’s own debut long-player, which he gave away free on Soundcloud earlier this year. It is more a ‘new version’ than a deluxe edition – there’s only one new track as far as I can make out (The Panel), but the running order’s been rejigged and Burning has been renamed Pianos. Except for a couple of mellower tracks towards the end, the overall mood’s a little darker than the label comp, with less of a housey-housey vibe and with one or two tracks veering towards breaks territory, but for some that’ll be a bonus…
More info

As I Am ft Nicola Tate – Saving Grace

December 1, 2014 in Singles

As I Am Saving Grace DefectedA nice easy one to start with tonight cos there’s just the one mix (or at least, just the one promo’d).

The work of London-based producer (and electro refugee) As I Am, Saving Grace is quite a commercial offering… but while its slightly pop-tastic vocal and fat rumbling bass will certainly appeal to young Disclosure fans, the insistent, uplifting pianos are proper house through and through. Making this one of those crossover tunes it’s Officially Okay To Like.

Not that I’m the arbiter of such things, you understand… but you can take MK, Kenny Dope and Dennis Ferrer’s word for it, surely?

Out: Today

About: This comes on Defected

As I Am – Packet Line

September 23, 2014 in Singles

As I Am Packet Line Arch44 MusicTwo very different mixes on this latest offering from the ever-checkable Arch44 Music.

On the A, the original of Packet Line is definitely one for the ‘bass house’ crew or whatever we’re calling it. “Treads on dubstep toes” is how the hype sheet has it, and there’s certainly a gnarliness to the bassline that you seldom hear in house records. Tech-house drums and chopped-up male vox complete the equation. However, it’s the B-side’s Mike Mac & Mark Dickson Remix that’s floating my boat more, in which the drums are given a lil’ added swing and the bassline’s swapped out for a nostalgic speed garage one.

The overall effect of the latter rub is not unakin to Ruff Driverz’ Don’t Stop… which before anyone gets all upset, I’ve always thought was a much underrated tune.

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 6 October.

About: You can find Arch44 Music here, here and here.

Jesse James – Stick ‘Em

March 30, 2014 in Singles

Jesse James Stick 'Em Arch 44Three mixes to choose from on this latest from London’s Arch 44 Music.

In its Original form, Stick ‘Em is a strutty tech-house cut with a relentlessly throbbing b-line and a hip-house style “stick ’em high” vocal. The Emeskay Remix is a notch or two pacier and bassier, but the mix that made me smile the most here comes from AS I AM… with its Mad Stuntman-ish “br-rrr” vocal (or ‘linguolabial trill’, if you prefer) and cascading synth/piano chords, there are definite echoes of 1994 on this one!

Out: This week (on general release, though it’s been on Beatport for a week or two)

About: You can find Arch 44 on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.