Vodzux – I Wonder Why

March 13, 2016 in Singles

Vodzux Wonder Why EP Plastik PeopleFinally for tonight, we have a three-track EP that blends deep house, jazz-funk and soul influences to perfection.

The title track is a lazy, laidback groover with a looping “if I could only prove (something)” vocal, sampled crowd noise and tinkling jazz ivories to die for. Anyone Like U opens with a chunk of sampled 70s soul vox, then breaks out into the kind of languid funk that’ll appeal to fans of (eg) Groove Armada, Lemon Jelly or Zero 7, topping it with another soulful vocal (a man’s voice crooning “with my baby”) and more of those killer jazz keys. And then finally there’s Princess, which operates at a similar midtempo pace to the other two but has more of an early 80s boogie/soul kinda feel.

Perfect deep, lazy grooves for Sunday chillin’ or poolside loungin’.

Out: Thursday (18 March)

About: This is brought to you by Marc Cotterell’s Plastik People over in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Find them on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Tevo Howard’s Black Electro Orchestra – Holiday EP

February 9, 2016 in Singles

Tevo Howard's Black Electro Orchestra Help EP Beautiful Granville Y’know that fine line between ‘geniusly camp’ and ‘cheese’? Well, can you guess what line Mr Howard’s walking today?

For what we have here, you see, are instrumental covers of Madonna’s Holiday and not one but TWO Pet Shop Boys tracks, What Have I Done To Deserve This and My October Symphony, reworked inna a Balearic nu-disco style. And yes, it sounds like a terrible idea on paper but it actually works pretty well. Never having been a fan of the Pet Shop Boys I can’t really comment on the latter two tracks except to say they make for pleasant enough listening, but in Howard’s hands Holiday becomes a spangly, cruisin’-round-the-marina-in-your-Porsche-coupé kinda cut that’s sure to raise a few smiles once listeners cotton on, slowly but surely, as to what it actually is. And that may or may not make you walk around singing Holiday Rap all day, depending how old you are!

For fans of Balearic Gabba Sound System, yacht rock, Scandi disco, Tummy Touch Records and other such kitschy midtempo delights.

Out: Now

About: This comes on Howard’s own Illinois-based Beautiful Granville Records. They don’t really seem to have much of a web presence of their own but you can find Mr Howard on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Fouk – Groove EP

January 17, 2016 in Singles

Fouk Gruff House Of DiscoSome classier-than-your-average nu-disco/disco-house bizniss here from London label House Of Disco and the Dutch duo of Daniel Leseman and Hans Peeman, AKA Fouk. Actually, even labelling this as “disco-house” is possibly doing Fouk a disservice – it’s arguably closer in spirit to vintage west coast funk à la Zapp.

Freebooter opens proceedings, a fairly laidback groover with talkbox-like sounds (hence the Zapp comparisons) and a bassline that could’ve come straight off a Credence release from the early 00s. You then get three mixes of Gruff itself to choose from: the loungey, Balearic-leaning original, a more stripped n’ strutty Snacks Remix and a Ron Basejam Remix that you can imagine finding favour with the likes of Mr Scruff or Gilles Peterson with its Bugz/Recloose-y feel. Completing the EP is Orchard, a slightly lower-tempo offering with restrained funk geetar and mournful trumpets.

Freebooter and the original of Gruff lead the pack for yours truly.

Out: This week coming on vinyl, digitally from 1 Feb.

About: You can find House Of Disco on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

In-akey – Love For The Music

January 14, 2016 in Singles

In-akey Love For The Music EP Nite GroovesBusy busy busy but there’s just time before the clock strikes midnight to tell you about his wicked little three-tracker from Nite Grooves, which is the work of Ibiza-based producer Inaky Garcia.

Actually, I say wicked little three-tracker but there’s one track here that stands out head, shoulders and Abraham Lincoln-esque stovepipe hat above the rest! Taking the tracks in Oscars-stylee reverse order, then, Ezinhle is a perfectly acceptable, jaunty little prog-tinged house throbber with an Afro-Latin feel in the beats department, while Love For The Music itself, in its Beat Mix form, marries more straight-up 4/4s to an understated but funk-fuelled bassline and tops the lot with string sweeps and luxuriant pads, the end result being a laidback Balearic house epic with a decidedly euphoric feel.

But then we come to the Piano Mix, which is actually the lead track – and quite rightly so. Because here, a delicate intro of simple beats and gently tinkling ivories gradually swells into an absolutely ker-razy ass jazz-house workout with wukka-wukking funk geetar and some of the most wigged-out piano action this side of Thelonious Monk.

Me like, muchly.

Out: This week

About: Find Nite Grooves on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at the King Street website.

Various – The Christmas Gift LP III

December 29, 2015 in Albums

Various Christmas Gift LP III Carton-Pâte RecordsFrench label Carton-Pâte come with their third annual Christmas compilation, serving up 18 tracks from nearly as many artists.

With 18 tracks on offer, it’d be boring if they all sounded the same – but there’s no danger of that here, as The Christmas Gift LP III stands out for the sheer breadth of music on offer. Where else are you gonna find jazzy, trumpet-tastic deep house (Apollo Powder’s Pont Rouge), deep dark and slightly scary post-dubstep (the JM Remix of Jeanne’s Roma), squelchy Daft Punk-isms (Maxime F’s For You), bumpin’ UKG nouveau (Mr Cardboard’s rave-tinged JSNE) and scratchy minimal techno (Optamystick’s Abyss) all rubbing shoulders on one album – never mind, as here, within the first few tracks!

And the album continues in similarly eclectic fashion, taking in lounge-y/Balearic vibes from Karim Sarahoui, fierce Relief-style jacking house from Pause, euphoric but non-cheesy prog from PNKPHTM and more. The sparse-yet-sumptuous GT246 Garage Edit of Oxxa’s In My Mind and the aforesaid cuts from Apollo Powder, Mr Cardboard and JM/Jeanne come particularly recommended by yours truly, but really, suggesting highlights from an album like this is a bit of pointless exercise – with the variety on offer you’d be better off diving on in and finding your own.

You’ll be glad you did… and you certainly won’t get bored.

Out: Now

About: Find Carton-Pâte Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Some MORE albums, quickly…

November 11, 2015 in Albums

I’m on a roll with this ‘potted album reviews’ malarkey so here’s some that are dropping THIS week…

Microscapes Vol II Buena Onda RecordsVarious – Microscapes Vol II
A VA comp here from a label who’ve never featured on TIWWD before – France’s Buena Onda Records. Don’t know much about them, but based on this evidence I’d like to find out more! Across Microscapes Vol II‘s 12 tracks you’ll find various flavas of house music, starting out seriously deep (Ekstendia’s Luana is a killer) then progressing into more uptempo (but still pretty deep, in the overall scheme of things) tech/prog territory as the album progresses, all coming from eight artists in total of whom only a couple of names (Knip, Gurwan) are even vaguely familiar. File under ‘unexpected pleasures’.

Golden Lounge 3 Clubstar RecordsVarious – Golden Lounge Vol 3
Here, long-running German label Clubstar present 29 tracks of nosebleed techno and 240bpm nu-gabba… nah, not really. Well, the 29 tracks bit is right… beyond that, expect neo-soul, bruk beat, ultra-chilled house, drifty Balearica, lo-fi hip-hop and other assorted horizontal grooves, coming from a mixture of big names (Jose Padilla, Andy Caldwell, The Rurals, DJ Pippi) and, er, some not quite so big names. The whole thing’s compiled and mixed by label boss Henri Kohn, with CD1 a bit more beat-oriented and CD2 taking us deeper into the sofa-surfin’ zone.

Nu Breeds 10 Spring TubeVarious – Nu Breeds 10
It seems like a little while since Spring Tube had any TIWWD love so let’s rectify that now with a quick peek at the latest in their long-running series of VA compilations. As is par for the Nu Breeds course, you won’t find any big names here… what you WILL find is plenty of smooth, classy electronic tuneage. Spring Tube’s natural musical stomping ground is that area where deep and progressive house collide, and that’s amply reflected in this set, with Moonwatch3r’s Dreams and Nio March’s Delight Me particularly worthy of your attention.

Various – MLTD005

November 7, 2015 in Singles

MLT005 MelodymathicsBelgian label Melodymathics may only be five releases old but they’re marking that minor landmark with a doublepack vinyl EP that really is rather special.

Label boss Melodymann gets the ball rolling with LowFunk, a stripped-back chugger consisting of tuff, almost tribal-leaning drums, solitary synth and organ notes and a bassline that only shows up now and then but seriously threatens the bowels when it does, all topped with a man’s voice saying “I can just give myself unconditionally”. Next up is Detroit legend Terrence Parker, whose piano-tastic (well what did you expect?) Heart Break is so old school-sounding it actually gave me funny little rushes up the back of the neck. Melodymann then returns with What Are You Gonna Do, a more heads-down jam with a female vocal loop saying “What am I gonna do?” and a male one saying “free your mind… house music”. And then finally No Shit Like Deep give us Ambassador Of Love, a laidback, druggy deep groover with male 60s soul vox and kitsch, lounge-y elements for those more Balearic moments.

Outstanding stuff all round, so go seek!

Out: This week

About: You can find Melodymathics on Facebook or at their own website.

Various – Tom Tam Club Vol 3

September 14, 2015 in Albums

Tom Tam Club Vol 3 Holic TraxPlaying catch-up on a Monday evening yet again, with a couple of compilations from last week still to tell you about. We’ll start with this one, in which Holic Trax label boss Tomoki Tamura gathers together a third selection of upfront nuggets for your listening/spinning/dancing pleasure.

Eight tracks from as many artists, and it’s a pretty wide-ranging collection. We start with Rough Principles’s Pool Back, a melodic instrumental that nods to classic Chicago-style deepness. Habitual Nastiness from Mr Statik is a strange one, an off-kilter affair with what appear to be Theremin sounds and one of the oddest bits of sampled film dialogue* that you’ll hear this year. Point from Marco Faraone and Copenhagen from Ashworth take us into tech/minimal territory, Brunbjrn gives us wonky garage reminiscent of early Madhouse on M’About Ta, and Dubinsky’s Viol Groove is a chugging Balearic house thang. The EP then plays out on a deeper note with the dubby minimalism of Dudley Strangeways’ Brown Leaves and the languid, jazzy trip-hop/bruk beat of Baslow’s Closer.

Given the variety on offer you might not dig every single track equally here, but as a collection of forward-thinking underground music from across a wide genre spectrum, this is hard to fault.

Out: Now

About: You can find Holic Trax on Soundcloud, Facebook and Bandcamp.

* From 2012 Denzel Washington movie Flight, Google informs me.

Pop Out And Play – Spray Crazy

August 30, 2015 in Singles

Pop Out And Play Spray Crazy EP Lucky Sun RecordingsFirst out on 2014 on the late lamented 5 And Dime, this deep house nugget from Simon Tappenden and Wil Russell, AKA Pop Out And Play, gets a re-release with new mixes courtesy of Tom Lown’s Lucky Sun Recordings.

The original’s quite a lively affair by deep house standards, with a shimmery, Balearic disco kinda feel, while Mr Lown’s own remix  is a deeper variation on the same theme. Harold Heath’s remix opens with old skool Chi-town drums and gradually works its way up into a deep, acid-tinged bubbler, but the standout for yours truly is Mark Slee’s Deep Feelings Dub – a warm, meandering slice of driftaway late-night deep house par excellence.

Out: This week

About: Find Lucky Sun Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Polar Lights – Declaration

August 30, 2015 in Singles

Polar Lights Declaration What's In The BoxSeeing as it’s Sunday night, let’s start with some very deep and chilled vibes courtesy of Moscow-based label What’s In The Box.

Declaration (feat Llarion Dyakov) itself, in its original form, is a drifty, dreamy, Balearic kinda jam with fluttering Spanish guitar, mournful violins and lazy, muted beats, while the accompanying Kisk Slowly Remix adds a trippier edge – think early Orb gone a bit jazzy and you’re somewhere in the ballpark. You also get two mixes of Don’t Tell Me (feat Keely Timlin). I have to be honest and say the original veers a little too close to smooth jazz-lite territory for me, but no matter cos Darko Kustura is on hand with a sultry deep house remix to see you through those blissed-out post-club hours nicely…

Out: This week

About: What’s In The Box is a subsidiary of Highway Records and can be found here, here and here.