Various – The Leeds EP

July 14, 2012 in Singles

Various The Leeds EP Midnight Social Recordings

Having grown up in the Leeds/Bradford area, it’s pleasing to see how the Leeds house scene has grown so strong in recent years. This seven-artist, eight-track EP from Midnight Social Recordings serves as a reminder of just how strong it really is.

With tracks from Al ‘3am’ Bradley, Thomas Malo, Joe Morris, Steve Jones, Soanso, TDRMC (whose Me And My 808 is presented in two different mixes) and of course label boss Carlo Gambino, there’s plenty to please lovers of the deep here. Most tracks err towards the techy side of things, but Gambino’s Work Dat adds a little west coast/east midlands-style bump n’ funk while Morris’s Sunburst takes us into dreamier, Mogadon-disco pastures.

Honourable mention must also be made of Steve Jones’s Plasterman, which comes on like a ride on a tech-house ghost train. Well, it does to these ears, anyway…

Out: This week

About: You can find Midnight Social Recordings on Facebook. Oh yeah, and this one’s a Beatport exclusive, I should probably mention…

Ben Dean feat Bryony Matthews – Find Me

April 25, 2012 in Singles

From one Ben to another… this one’s called Ben Dean, and is a Manchester-based Kiwi who now returns to the label where he made his production debut some nine years ago, Al Bradley’s 3am Recordings. And the prodigal son doesn’t disappoint, with a sterling slab of straight-up deep house in five mixes.

The original’s a mid-paced affair with Chicago-esque bass and a yearning, soulful vocal from Ms Matthews. Remixes then come from the pick of the UK deep house crop. Label boss Al serves up a dark and moody dancefloor dub with a big fat bassline that comes remarkably close to ‘bassline’ territory (or at least ‘bassline house’ territory, before it went all cheesy and urban-electro). Long-term cohort Carlo Gambino takes us on another deep, dark n’ dubby ride, but this time one that’s more suited to home listening/post-club play, Rob Clarke keeps the vocal intact but beefs up the beats and ups the tempo a little while finally, Ben himself dons his Backfoot guise for a steppy, laidback, garage-y pass.

Classy stuff all round, with Backfoot and Al sharing the honours for me.

Out: This week

About: Find 3am Recordings on Facebook and Soundcloud if you want to know more – you can HEAR THIS at the latter too.

Al Bradley – Power To The Peaceful

December 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

There are times when you hear a familiar vocal sample and you think, oh God, not again. If, for instance, I never hear another dubstep/garage/D&B track with that ‘six million ways to die’ sample, I won’t be complaining. On the other hand, there are those times when you hear a familiar vocal sample and you think, ‘I can’t believe he’s used this… but it works’.

And in the case of Jetstream here, it certainly does work. The sample in question exhorts you not only to continue pushing, but to do so more forcefully, and sits atop muted Sound Factory-esque drums and a simple looping piano riff on the Original mix, or (my pick) an epic slab of Mr Fingers-ish deep/Balearic house on the Joe Morris Coloured Smoke Remix. It’s great.

And that’s only the B-side! On the A, the Original Mix of Power To The Peaceful pitches sampled Civil Rights-era speech over a sparse, echo-y deep house backing starring some gorgeous Rhodes work, while Gambino’s Unruffled Mix is a midtempo near-breakbeat shuffler featuring some fat, squelchy analogue synth sounds.
Excellent stuff all round, but Jetstream just pips it for me. So I’ll keep on pushing it harder.
Out: This week
About: This comes not on Al’s own 3am Recordings but is in fact the second release (I believe) on Carlo Gambino’s Midnight Social Recordings.

Carlo Gambino – Bad Habits

October 7, 2011 in Singles

More quality from the ever-dependable 3am Recordings stable here, with a range of mixes to suit various different times/moods/

The original of Bad Habits – which features, on all mixes, a very distinctive spoken vocal of some guy talking about how he’s got no plans to give up his bad habits just yet – is a dark, throbby deep/tech-house thing. Claire Ripley’s remix is still in a tech-house vein but considerably more driving and floor-friendly, with some nice whompy bottom end. Joe Morris then gives us a languid 3am Dub refix taking us into cosmic disco/Balearic territory, and then the Kirsten Sees Mix is on a cleaner, less techy, more straight-up house tip to start out, then gets intriguingly wonky and jazzified as it goes on. I’d pick a fave but it’s a bit pointless… they’re all good and will all work dropped at the right time.

And that’s not all, because you also get two mixes of Hissyfit, a deep and acid-y workout in its original form coming complete with a slightly darker, techier rerub from 3am main man Al Bradley, wearing his Chemical Warfare hat.
Excellent work all round, really.
Out: This week
About: You can find 3am on Facebook and Soundcloud. And you probably should.