The great big holiday catch-up post

August 23, 2015 in Singles

As some of you might have noticed, I’ve not been around for the past two weeks due to – gasp! – actually taking a holiday. But I’m back now, with a mountain of promos to download and a lorryload of reviews promises to fulfill. So let’s get started… here’s a bunch of very checkable singles, all of which came out this week.

DCR032 - SocialBrodanse – Miss Your Love
The brothers Smart serve up a neat two-tracker on their own Danse Club Records here. It’s the original that gets my vote, an underground deep house jam with a garage-y female “I miss your love” vocal loop, but French house veteran DJ W!ld comes with a more heads-down refix for the teeny-tiny hours that’s also plenty playable.

Deep Active Sound sleeveDeep Active Sound – Changes EP
Another fine deep house two-tracker here, this one coming from Russian producer Deep Active Sound and brought to you courtesy of the ever-reliable Different Attitudes. Bace Pace is a nice chunky lil’ groover with garage-y female vocal snips and a pulsating b-line, while Changes itself is a slinky, squelchy cut made for making booties sway on dancefloors.

Deepdoon sleeveDeepdoon – Moving Forward EP
A three-track EP here from Romania’s Limitation Music and Scottish (of course!) producer Deepdoon. The title cut is an uber-deep affair with an ambient intro, lovely warm piano notes and, when the beats do eventually arrive, a lazy, almost Balearic feel. Summer Temptation is a mellow, aptly named slice of beach house loveliness, while completing the EP is The Lotus Eaters, a late-night drifter with nods to E2/E4 and a spoken, psychobabble-ish female vocal.

CW013 PackshotFatherhood – Child Support EP
A four-track EP from Michael Mangan and Physical Therapy, collectively known as Fatherhood, on their own Clubwerks imprint. Under their joint moniker they bring us the stripped-back jackery of The Yes Man and the fierce Chicago warehouse nostalgia of Loleatta On Acid (no prizes for guessing who the sampled vocalist is), while Mangan goes it alone on Carl Craig-ish disco-tech stomper Alright Um and Physical Therapy brings us Hospital House, which has echoes of both Murk and Plastic Dreams.

Fragoso sleeveFragoso – Hot Room EP
Two tracks in four mixes make up this EP from California’s Household Digital label. Hot Room itself is a bass-rumblin’ deep/tech houser with a “look into the light, it will not hurt you” spoken vocal loop, and comes accompanied by a slightly techier The Mistaa Remix. Bring The Funk Back, meanwhile, is a bass-heavy deep/tech roller in its original form, while the Mr Drew Acid Mix is techier though not, despite the name, particularly acidic.

Gotta Get EP Album ArtLee Walker – Mind Control EP
Another four-track EP here, this one coming from Middlesbrough’s Lee Walker and brought to you by Canada’s Mile End Records. Crazy For You blends deep house and UK garage influences to great effect, and comes with a techier, drummier refix from Andy Lee. The other original cut, Gotta Get, is another garage-tinged deep houser with vocal bites from Montell Jordan’s This Is How We Do It, while a more energetic Jacky (UK) remix completes the set.

Stev Bray sleeveStev Bray – Muve Your Body
Yes, Stev not Steve and muve not move, just in case anyone was thinking I’d suddenly forgotten how to type/spell! Stanny Abram’s Marba Records are the label behind this nicely understated tech-house throbber, which comes complete with a more percussive remix from Mr Abram himself.

Wasabi sleeveWasabi & Karman Lee – Matilda EP
Seems like ages since Greek producer Wasabi featured on TIWWD but here he comes again now, bringing us a neat lil’ tech-house two-tracker on Street King in cahoots with the slightly mysterious Karman Lee. Diggin’ is a no-nonsense, heads-down kinda cut with shufflin’ beats and chopped-up female vocal snips, while Matilda itself is just as tracky but operates in slightly funkier, housier territory.

BitToBitRecords-BTB029-ZaVen-SundownExpressEPZaVen – Sundown Express EP
Another two-track affair here from Spain’s Bit To Bit Records. Sundown Boulevard is a meandering, uber-deep affair built for warm-up or post-club play that’ll have the proverbial ‘heads’ in raptures, while Trainspotting is a slightly more floor-friendly deep houser with a looping disco bassline and, yes, train noises…

2400X2400-IBIZA-HEATVarious – Avotre presents Ibiza Heat
A stylistically varied Ibiza sampler EP here from Berlin’s Avotre Records, with seven tracks from as many artists. Highlights include the sizzling acid of label boss Santé’s Acid Rain, the strutty, funk-fuelled house of Ale Castro’s Schubkraft, Montel’s party-startin’ Body Music and Mennie’s Organica, a heady fusion of breakbeat, funk and techno influences.

MSR sleeveVarious – Midnight City EP
A five-track VA offering from Midnight Social Recordings here. Label boss Carlo Gambino gives us the warmup-friendly Liquid Lunch, Dee Brown comes with the trad-style deep groover Ghetto Chords, Guy Young nods towards Detroit on Indigroove, M-Melodie’s Coloured Trouble is an understated, atmospheric cut while finally Zeno Nodari’s Be Down is a moody chugger to play us out in cinematic style.

Low Tone – You’ll Be Lucky EP

April 19, 2015 in Singles

Low Tone You'll Be Lucky EP What HappensA two-track, four-mix EP here from Tim Andresen’s ever-checkable What Happens imprint and Low Tone, AKA the Yorkshire duo of Al ‘3am Recordings’ Bradley and Carlo ‘Midnight Social’ Gambino.

You’ll Be Lucky itself, in its original form, is a crackly, tuff-but-deep house groover with crisp beats, monstrous rolling bass, moody synth washes and a “hey, who do you think I am?” female vocal sample. Howard Sessions’ remix tones down the atmospherics and opts for warmer 4/4s and a different bassline, while adding a spoken male vocal and fat, squelchy synths. The other original cut, Goin’ On, uses a female “You got it goin’ on” vocal that’s a little too close to Groove Armada’s I See You Baby (AKA the most annoying vocal in house music history) for comfort, but that’s a personal thing… otherwise it’s a nice warm, chunky deep house chugger sporting some trippy FX/atmospherics that make it a cert for small-hours play, while Phasen’s refix is a techier, dare I say proggier pass with some great spangled keys action.

All four are plenty playable, as you’d expect from such a heavyweight line-up, but the Howard Sessions mix takes the gold for me.

Out: This week

About: You can find What Happens here, here and here.

Carlo Gambino – LS12 EP

December 19, 2014 in Singles

Carlo Gambino LS12 EP Midnight Social RecordingsAnother ‘best of’ selection here, as Leeds producer Carlo Gambino gathers together a selection of his finest work to date. Even if you’re a devoted fan who sleeps on Carlo Gambino pillowcases, it’s a set that’s well worth checking as, with the tracks involved having appeared on (deep breath) 3am Recordings, Soleil De Nuit, Heartbeat Revolutionaries, Bullet:Dodge and Area38, as well as Carlo’s own Midnight Social Recordings, even YOU are likely to already own every cut here!

Musically, well, the MSR boss is no newcomer so you should have a rough idea of what this sounds like already, but for anyone who’s just wandered in expect chunky, chuggy deep and tech-house vibes aimed fair and square at those twisted hours between roughly 2 and 7am. So there’s not much in the way of hi-octane, peaktime screamalong action, and LOTS in the way of heads-down grooves with bags of space in the production for frazzled minds to wander about in. The drug-mangled slo-mo G-house (G-mo?) of Down Low is one highlight, the more bumpin’ Save All The Drama another, but top honours probably have to go to Say What?, just cos the downpitched Donell Jones sample gives it a little more obvious/immediate floor appeal.

Out: This week

About: This comes on the aforesaid Midnight Social Recordings, who live here and here.

Carlo Gambino – My Way EP

September 18, 2014 in Singles

Carlo Gambino My Way EP Midnight Social RecordingsWe’ll end tonight with this latest offering from Midnight Social Recordings.

Label boss Carlo G is at the helm, serving up two tracks in a total of four mixes. My Way itself is an unhurried, stripped-back, dubbed-out affair sporting a high-pitched female “down, down my way” vocal and having something of a tribal tinge, too, while Donnie Lowe & Michael Gin head (even) deeper on their remix. S.O.C meanwhile is in its original form another mid-paced and quite sparse affair, but with mild garage-y overtones in this case, while Messrs Lowe & Gin again TC of remix B, this time taking us into no-nonsense, drummy afterhours territory.

Good stuff as ever from Midnight Social, with the My Way remix just nudging it for me

Out: This week

About: You can find Midnight Social Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Carlo Gambino – Game Changer EP

February 22, 2014 in Singles

Carlo Gambino Game Changer EP Something ElseEarlier in the week we were talking about the latest release on Carlo Gambino’s Midnight Social Recordings… now here comes the man himself, moonlighting with this three-tracker for Something Different sister label Something Else.

Game Changer itself is up first, a bleepy, twitchy shuffler with a fat walking bassline, vaguely unsettling synths, plenty of cowbell and a cheeky little bite of (or maybe nod to?) a certain very famous old Liberty City vocal. That’s followed by No Fool, a more chuggy cut that uses the vocal from Risse’s Chain Of Fools (also used by Murk on Mission Control’s Outta Limits, funnily enough). And then last but by no means least we have This Ain’t Jazz, which is a slightly livelier cut in a drifty, 4am kinda way and sports a male voice telling us that “what you are about to hear is not jazz”.

He’s right, it’s not jazz. It is rather good, though – as is the whole EP, to be fair.

Out: This week

About: You can find Something Else on Soundcloud and Facebook. And seeing as I was just at the latter you might as well hear This Ain’t Jazz while you’re here!

Variouser and variouser…

December 1, 2013 in Singles

Been absolutely inundated with music this week so here’s just a quick round-up of a few V/A EPs you’d be well advised to check out…

All Night Long Svoque MuziqVarious – All Night Long
We’ll start with this six-artist, six-track sampler from Barcelona’s Svogue Muziq. And a pretty heavyweight line-up it is too, with Carlo Gambino & Al Bradley, Low District, LowLife and Matteo Floris all representing alongside Fabio Carla & Matteo San and Manuel Del Giudice. Expect very fine deep house grooves, often with a techy twist, with Low District’s deep n’ groovy Just Dance the standout for yours truly.

Autumn Air Vol 2 DeepWit RecordingsVarious – Autumn Air Vol 2
Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of Denmark’s DeepWit stable and this latest V/A offering doesn’t disappoint. Focusing on the kind of chilled, uber-deep grooves the label does best, with the emphasis on up-and-coming artists, tracks come from Portofino Sunrise, Adjust, DMP, Reeggo and Mr P, with standouts for me including the stripped n’ saxy late-night garaahge of Reeggo’s Raisin N’ Peach, and DMP’s blissed-out Lexion.

Dive Into Illusion Les Folies DigitalesVarious – Dive Into Illusion EP
A three-artist, three-track sampler here from Zurich’s Les Folies Digitales label. Allgoritmika’s Todo Meu Amor marries crisp tech-house beats with a positively rude bassline and snatches of attitude-y vocal, Space Dive by Frank Fonema is a laidback nu-disco/Balearic funker, and Rino Buttice’s Mere Illusion is a minimal-influenced affair, all delicate stuttering rhythms and synthy atmospherics. It’s only the label’s second-ever release so show some love!

Carlo Gambino – Midnight Social EP

March 3, 2013 in Singles

Carlo Gambino Midnight Social EP 3am RecordingsA three-track EP here from Carlo Gambino, coming – confusingly – not on his own Midnight Social Recordings, but on the label where he first made his name, Al Bradley’s 3am Recordings. And with – even more confusingly – not a saxophone in earshot, despite the cover artwork!

Game Face is up first, a bassy, wonky, midtempo kinda affair with a very familiar female vocal sample and some pleasingly tinkling Rhodes alongside an infectious, squelchy synth riff. Next, It’s Alright is another midtempo chugger with a nagging high-end synth riff and a counterpointing low-end organ drone, all topped off with one of those house-eulogising vocals… but, unusually, from a woman’s voice. And then finally, Deepa is a drummy, throbbing workout that goes, well… deeper.

Three solid cuts for contemporary floors.

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 1 April.

About: You can find 3am Recordings on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Wally Black – Git Up EP

January 18, 2013 in Singles

Wally Black Git Up EP Midnight Social RecordingsSome jackin’ deep/tech house grooves here courtesy of Carlo Gambino’s Midnight Social Recordings and Wally Black, who runs Middlesborough house night RIGHT-ON.

Git Up itself is a lively deep house dancefloor jaunt in its original form, all funky-ass b-line and militant percussion. Fellow northeasterner Milhouse then gives the track a tuffer, techier and bouncier remix that I think just edges it over the original for me. On the flip, It’s In The Groove is a twitchy, jazz-flecked affair that’s reminiscent of several Musics We Have Loved (San Fran house, the more experimental end of UKG and DiY/Smokescreen-style bump) all at once, and that Italy’s Matteo Floris then remixes into a much darker, techier and more now-sounding proposition altogether.

If you can’t find something to play here, you may well be reading the wrong blog.

Out: This week

About: You can find Leeds-based Midnight Social Recordings on Facebook.

Carlo Gambino – Low For Me EP

November 12, 2012 in Singles

Carlo Gambino Low For Me EP Midnight Social Recordings

If the two releases on Spring Tube and MUM below are a little too retrofied for your tastes, then this slightly more contemporary-sounding four-tracker from Carlo Gambino on his own Midnight Social Recordings may suit you better.

I say ‘four-tracker’ but to be more precise there are two tracks in four mixes. Low For Me in its Original form is a chunky, midtempo deep house groove with a slight techy edge and, as is so popular right now, snippets of soulful male vocal, as well as a female spoken vocal that intones the title throughout. A remix from Dudley Strangeways then takes the track to a more head-warped, 4am kinda place altogether.

Say What?, meanwhile, is an even more languid affair in its Original form, sporting piercing high-end synth drones and a big, chunky bassline, while again, the Nick Devon Remix is a trippy, head-noddin’ pass aimed straight at the afterhours floors. Both rubs also use a heavily-treated vocal sample from a very well-known R&B track… I won’t spoil it by saying what track but the artist rhymes with ‘Ronell Rones’!

Out: This week

About: You can find Midnight Social Recordings on Facebook.

Carlo Gambino & Al Bradley – Automatick

September 5, 2012 in Singles

Carlo Gambino & Al Bradley Automatick 3am

I’ve deliberately saved this till last tonight, cos it’s the best of what has been a very fine bunch all round.

At least, it is if you’re old, because the minute you hear the vocal you’ll be grinning from ear to ear! On Automatick, you see, this pair of cheeky Yorkshire scamps have brazenly lifted the vocal from Dee D Jackson’s minor 1977 disco hit Automatic Lover… better known to those of us who spent the early 90s dancing on podiums, hugging strangers and blowing whistles as Friends Of Matthew’s Is There Anybody Out There? Which means that if you ARE a househead of “a certain age” then this record is pretty much impossible not to instantly fall in love with.

Musically, it’s actually a very contemporary-sounding slice of deep/tech house coming complete with a slightly more disco-fied pass from Nick Devon and a marginally tuffer/techier Ceri rub. Which left me wondering, what would an 18yo clubber today – who wasn’t born when Friends Of Matthew soundtracked a million and one stranger-hugs – would make of it? And then I remembered how blown away I was on hearing Is There Anybody Out There? for the first time, and decided that to young, fresh ears this will probably sound just as good now as that did to me, then. So everyone’s happy.

For many reasons, TIWWD doesn’t do a ‘tune of the week’ or anything like that. But if I did, this’d be it without a doubt. Utterly, utterly crucial.

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 1 Oct.

About: Despite Carlo getting top billing this comes not on his own Midnight Social but on Al’s own 3am Recordings, who live on Soundcloud and Facebook mostly.

Incidentally, hearing this made me wonder who Friends Of Matthew actually were, given that we never really heard from them again… and it turns out two of them were Mike Grey and Jon Pearn (pre-Hustlers Convention even, never mind Full Intention). Every day’s a school day, eh?