Jana Falcon – Falling EP

April 23, 2016 in Singles

Jana Falcon Falling EP Smile For A WhileBerlin-based Smile For A While come with a four-track EP that won’t be to everyone’s taste, but that I rather like, so nyer.

Opener Contemplation Of Inadequacy is the track that’s most likely to be a stumbling block… tuff kicks plus M1-ish organs and Detroit-y strings are a winning combo but the female vocal does err a little to the poppy side. For me, though, it brings back memories of cheesy-but-fun Brummie bassline from a decade ago and makes me smile. Pretty much the same applies also to Falling (Again Boy); the main difference is Falling is a little faster.

Ne’er mind, though, cos the smoother Petria’s House with its plainitive “I miss your love” vocal is far less likely to upset the ‘credibility’ obsessed… particularly when it comes with a dark, sweaty Obsession Dub that could almost be a long-lost Adonis record! It’s this latter rub that’s really earning this EP its place here… but like I said, I quite like the other three as well.

Out: This week

About: Find Smile For A While on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Cup & String – Make It Rain

February 28, 2016 in Singles

Cup & String Make It Rain Slime RecordingsWe finished off last night in garage/bass territory, so let’s pick up there again tonight with this three-tracker from the ever-checkable Slime Recordings.

There are three tracks to choose from. Ain’t Nobody (feat Sarah Pellicano) kicks us off in future garage/post-dubstep pastures, with a sweet female vocal, stuttery, steppy beats and a big bass wobble that, at times, sounds a little bit like the start of the original Dr Who theme. Still Deep In Love is a more straight-up 4/4 UKG banger, and then finally we get to Make It Rain itself, which veers towards rave/breakbeat.

A pleasingly varied EP then, and all three tracks are well executed, but if pushed Ain’t Nobody takes the gold.

Out: This week

About: You can find Slime Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook, or at their own website.

Some albums, quickly…

November 30, 2015 in Albums

Time once again tonight to catch up with some album releases from the past couple of weeks that I didn’t quite get around to… all are out now but still fresh!

Various – Ten Years Of Leftroom
Ten Years Of LeftroomHard to believe Matt Tolfrey’s Leftroom label has been in business for an entire decade but such, seemingly, is the case. To mark this landmark, they’re releasing this 10-track collection which takes in old favourites, some new remixes and a clutch of new material as well. Tolfrey himself either provides, collaborates on or remixes a full 50% of ’em, while his partners-in-crime include the likes of Route 94, Audiojack, Kate Simko, Jay Haze and Laura Jones. Together, they serve up a heady cocktail of meaty house and sinuous techno that’s dark, often trippy, and perfectly in keeping with the label’s always forward-looking remit. Oh, and you get a 37-minute mixed version thrown in as well. More info here.

Danny M – Deeper Vol 1
Danny M Deeper Vol 1 New Politics RecordsThe New Politics Records stalwart comes with his debut artist full-length here. If you know the label, you’ll already have a pretty good idea what to expect and sure enough, contemporary-style ‘bass house’ with strong nods to both vintage UK/speed garage and the mid-00s bassline house era is pretty much the order of the day throughout. If you’re not a fan of the style, then it’s fair to say this won’t be the album to change your mind, but if you are then cuts like the dreamy Need You, or the big n’ strutty Rock The Disco with its familiar vocal sample, will more than satisfy. More info here.

Various – Ekletik Beats Vol 004
Eklektik Beats Vol 004 EDM UndergroundAnother label comp here, this one coming from Greece’s unfortunately named EDM Underground, who for those that don’t know them have nothing to do with cake-throwing, pyrotechnics and electotraptrancestep, and everything to do with quality underground house music. Across this 17-track collection you’ll find deep and tech vibes ranging from the laidback and jazzy to the peaktime and stompy, and while some names – BiG AL, Pano Manara, Vincenzo De Robertis, label boss Analog Trip – should be familiar to TIWWD readers, most of it’s been made by relative newcomers – making the high quality standard throughout all the more impressive. More info here.

Various – Jazzy Best Pt 6
Jazzy Best Vol 6 Apparel MusicAnd from a label called EDM that have very little to do with EDM, we move on to a compilation called Jazzy Best that has very little to do with jazz! Okay, there’s a brushed snare here, a mournful sax parp there, I’ll grant you. But a Peterson-esque noodlefest this definitely isn’t; instead expect 20 tracks of the finest underground house music – mostly on a deep dancefloor tip but with one or two techier moments and a few more downtempo excursions – coming from the likes of Echonomist, Sarp Yilmaz, Sek and a raft of lesser-known names. ‘Jazzy’ it may not be, but ‘best’? Not far off, I’d say… More info here.

Various – Krafted Vol 1
Krafted Vol 1 Krafted MusicLastly for tonight’s little round-up but by no means least, we have this first-ever label comp from Krafted Music, which consists of 13 full-length tracks plus a continuous mix by Paul Moore of Soultrak. Ger Gleeson, Danny Satori and Christ Burstein are probably the best-known names that feature but as with the comps above, this isn’t about big names, it’s about quality house tuneage. And on that count these 13 slices of underground deep and tech goodness certainly deliver, with Prudence’s Notice Me and Sean Grainger’s Climax – MONSTER tunes, the pair of ’em – worth the price of admission on their own. More info here.

As ever with these round-up thingummies, sorry to all concerned that each of these albums didn’t get a little more in-depth love but there’s only so many hours in the day!

A.S.R – Yeah

October 8, 2015 in Singles

A.S.R Yeah Sweep The FloorSome kick-ass bouncy, bass-y bizniss on this latest from Leeds label Sweep The Floor.

Four mixes of Yeah to choose from. The original marries thumping 4/4s to a nice fat b-line, organ sounds that suggest these boys may have a soft spot for Ecko/Jump-style bassline house from a decade back and, in the midsection, old skool hands-in-the-air pianos. Michael Solomons’ rub dials the bass back a notch, letting the piano and organ shine brighter. Noby tuffens up the drums a little and adds a chimpmunk-y female vocal that heightens the bassline house-y feel, as well as some unashamedly cheesy sax licks, while finally Shahrukh’s tougher mix recalls the more electro-influenced sound of the later 00s, when ‘bassline house’ had become just ‘bassline’ and Ministry were doing compilations of it.

Noby’s mix and the Original stand out for me… file under “unpretentious dancefloor frolics”.

Out: This week

About: Find Sweep The Floor on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Robosonic ft KRS-One – Free Flow

September 13, 2015 in Singles

Robosonic feat KRS-One Free Flow Simma BlackSimma Black come up with the bass/garage goods yet again on this latest three-tracker featuring the mighty KRS-One.

The Rap Versions finds a surprisingly party-oriented rap from the BDP main man doing battle with chunky (tech) house beats and the famous 900 Number horn loop. If you’re not much of a rap person then the Club Dub uses just a looping snippet of the vocal, but the standout mix for yours truly is the Low Steppa Remix. Here, it’s business as usual until around the 1:30 mark… then in comes a big dark speed garage bassline that could probably cause structural damage, and it’s game over.

Great stuff as ever from the Simma camp.

Out: This week

About: Find Simma Black on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Future Sound Of Garage Vol 2

September 1, 2015 in Albums

Future Sound Of Garage 2 Slime RecordingsSlime Recordings follow-up their successful 2014 Future Sound Of Garage comp with a rather fine second volume that ups the ante from the first volume’s mere 10 tracks, to a whopping 28.

As with volume one, expect a blend of ‘traditional’ speed/UK garage and more recent garage phenotypes (bassline house/UK bass/post-dubstep/future garage/etc), coming mostly from up-and-coming producers from around the world though one or two names (Nymbus, Greed, Aaron Static) should be familiar. With 28 tracks I’m CERTAINLY not about to go through them one-by-one; particular highlights for this reviewer include Conducta’s SG-flavoured Be Strong and Static’s dark n’ brooding Afternoon Shift but I’m sure you’ll find your own! Suffice to say that the collection is something of a must-check for anyone with even a passing interest in the continuing evolution of this most enduring of dance genres.

Out: Friday (4 September)

About: Find Slime Recordings on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Tempo Elektrik – Looking

May 30, 2015 in Singles

Tempo Elektrik Looking Simma Red We end tonight with some more bass-heavy, garage-y bizniss courtesy of Low Steppa’s Simma Red label.

In its Original form, Looking features a chopped, looped and ever-so-slightly chipmunk’y “Then I see you looking” vocal (possibly a Janet or Whitney sample?) that sits atop fat, squelchy bass, insistent toppy beats and, every now and then, some gloriously old-skool pianos. It’s accompanied by a simple Radio Edit plus a housier Tempo Elektrik Remix that opts for more driving kicks, tones down the bassline a little and brings the pianos further to the front.

Let’s see those arms in the air now…

Out: This week

About: Simma Red shares Soundcloud and Facebook space with parent label Simma Black. Lots more to come from the Birmingham/London stable soon BTW, with the HUGE Simma Black Vol 4 comp plus Low Steppa’s own Troubles long-player both dropping in June, so keep it locked.

Corbeau – Need Your Girl EP

May 30, 2015 in Singles

Corbeau Need Your Girl EP Form-and FunctionAnother trip down Memory Lane here… whether it’s the mid-90s handbag days you remember fondly, the mid-00s bassline house era, or (like me) both, you’ll find your mid-10s nostalgia fix right here.

Two tracks to choose from. Your Girl rocks warm, driving kicks, a MONSTER of an M1 organ bassline and a cheeky bite from Aaliyah’s If Your Girl Only Knew by way of a vocal. Over on the B, meanwhile, Need You is a slightly deeper variation on a similar theme, with a skippier riddim, a more understated b-line and another sampled R&B vocal, this one coming from Keyshia Cole’s (Just Want It) To Be Over. My money’s on Your Girl for Insta-Thrills and Need You for longevity.

Bought a pair of pristeen vintage Wannabes in a charity shop recently; at this rate they’ll be back in fashion soon! 🙂

Out: This week

About: This comes from those masters of retrofied garage fun Form & Function, who as ever can be found on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Axel Doorman – In The Back

April 10, 2015 in Singles

Axel Doorman In The Back Sweep The Floor RecordsA range of mixes to choose from on this cracking lil’ houser from Leeds label Sweep The Floor Records.

In its lively Original form, In The Back marries tuff, techy beats and garage-y keys, topping the lot with a whispered/spoken male “I saw you down in the back of the room” vocal. The stripped-back Andyinc Remix is big, bassy and strutty, Curtis Randles heads into deeper territory on his Night Vision Remix as does Dweller on his smoother Hustlin’ In The Back Remix, while finally D-Tention’s rub has a funkified, bassline house feel and added rave-y elements.

Not picking a fave here cos all five will do the do on the floors that are relevant to them for sure.

Out: This week

About: Find Sweep The Floor here and here.

Sebb Aston – U Can Think EP

December 20, 2014 in Singles

Sebb Aston U Can Think EP Nite GroovesSeeing as it’s Saturday night, let’s end on a slighly more upbeat note with this fine four-track EP from Sebb Aston.

U Can Think itself is up first, a chunky classic-style house groover with various chopped-up vocal snips and a filtered main chorus, M1 organ sounds and some old skool, arms-aloft piano action to boot. The M1 then stays out both for You R Living with its looping soulful male “tell me why” vocal and seriously fat-assed bassline, and for Going Crazy which comes in two forms, the original being a dancefloor monster that’ll appeal to the speed garage/bassline house lovers while the darkhfunkh remix treads a deeper, darker path, both rubs sporting a looped male “music’s got me going crazy” vocal.

It’s like the 90s happened! Nuff said. 🙂

Out: This week, on Traxsource

About: This comes on Nite Grooves, which as you know is part of the King Street label family.