Various – Lost Summer Selection

August 2, 2015 in Albums

Lost Summer Selection Lost RecordsWe ended on quite a rollicking, techy house tip last night so let’s pick up there again tonight with this compilation album from Leftwing & Kody’s Lost Records.

With 14 tracks from as many artists, I’m not going into them one-by-one. Suffice to say that Lost have made a big mark on the scene with their particular style of tuff, muscular house and sinuous, groovy techno, and if you’re a fan of the label you certainly won’t be disappointed with this set, which features a host of familiar artists including Cera Alba, PAWSA, Mat.Joe & Kevin Knapp, Montel, Raffa FL, Di Chiara Brothers and of course Leftwing & Kody themselves, plus a handful of newer names.

L&K’s own attitude-y Mad Hot (feat Maxine Hardcastle), Raffa FL’s fat n’ squelchy The Freak Beat and Michael Bibi’s lo-slung n’ sleazy Power Of Life stand out for this reviewer, but you’ll find your own favourites I’m sure…

Out: This week

About: Find Lost Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Cera Alba – London To Barcelona

June 18, 2015 in Singles

Cera Alba London To Barcelona EP MadTech RecordsContinuing last night’s tech-house theme, here we have a four-track EP from man of the moment Cera Alba, coming on Kerri Chandler’s always reliable MadTech imprint.

Barcelona is up first, a fairly heads-down affair from the deeper end of the tech-house spectrum, with tribal tinges and sampled airport Tannoy announcements augmenting snatches of Robert Owens-esque male vocal. Relaxxx is more lo-slung and groovy with some nice hefty bass adding dancefloor energy, She Flows nudges towards deep/soulful house territory and finally The Lowdown is dark, moody and hypnotic, with a slightly spooky “rearrange things… be a better you” spoken vocal.

Relaxxx is the one I’d reach for first.

Out: This week on Beatport; everywhere else from 29 June

About: You can find MadTech here, here and here.

PS: Now might also be a good time to mention that MadTech put out an ‘Ibiza’ album a couple of weeks back; sadly though they only sent me the sampler and the promised ‘rest of the album’ never materialised! What I did get to hear is good though…

Cera Alba – Orbit EP

June 3, 2015 in Singles

Cera Alba Orbit EP Lost RecordsWe end on a slightly techier note with this EP from UK producer Cera Alba, coming on Leftwing & Kody’s Lost Records.

Lead cut Blacklight is the standout for me. It opens with no-nonsense beats and a deep male voice intoning the title over and over, before a sinuous bassline, sprightly hi-hats and (eventually) brief piano trills join in to create as slinky and groovesome a slice of chunky tech-house as you’ll hear all month. A proper ass-mover and no mistake, guv’nor!

The acid-tinged SEFF Remix isn’t any too shoddy either, though, while Weapon, a bassier, dubbier deep/tech houser topped with diva vocal snips that’s also eminently playable, completes a very strong package.

Out: This week

About: Find Lost Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – MadTech 01

December 22, 2014 in Albums

MadTech 01 MadTech RecordsAnother compilation from another fine label operating at the techier end of the spectrum… in this case, Kerri Chandler’s MadTech Records.

Like the Innocent Music release below, the emphasis here is on up-and-coming talent, though in this instance you’ll also encounter some better known names such as Cera Alba. Unlike the minimal, dubbed-out grooves on the Innocent Music album, though, MadTech 01 has its sights set firmly on the dancefloor, with Ercos Blanka’s Yabloko pretty much the sole lower-tempo nugget. Elsewhere, expect jacking, percussive tech-house grooves – but never mere ‘drum tracks’ – infused with a healthy dose of funk, with opener Hundred Monsters by Artifact, Newbie Nerdz’ Morleys and Simba’s closing Count To Three particularly deserving of your attention.

Out: Now

About: Find MadTech here and here.

Cera Alba – Fractures In Time EP

June 21, 2014 in Singles

Cera Alba Fractures In Time EP GruuvStaying in deep house territory but moving to the tuffer, more jacking end of that particular spectrum, we have this four-tracker from Liam Jones, AKA Cera Alba, coming on Leeds-via-Ibiza imprint Gruuv.

Fractures In Time itself is up first, a no-nonsense workout that’ll help you identify the real househeads on the floor with its dirty bassline, swirling vocal sounds, snare-tastic rhythm and old skool synth stabs. It’s followed by a remix from Dutch producer De Sluwe Vos, who goes down a techier, more pounding route. The Raw L is aptly-named, a ruff-edged construction of fierce drums, heavyweight bass and chopped-up fem vox that if it came out in 1995 on Twisted or Tribal America we’d have called ‘dark garage’. And then finally When You Feel Her is a driving affair powered along by fat, funky-ass bass and more of those fierce snares, and topped with swirling layered synths and a looping female “tell me how you feel” vocal.

Owing a distinct debt to mid-90s NYC but sounding up-to-date at the same time, this is a must-check.

Out: This week

About: You can find Gruuv on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Resonance BPM 2014 sampler

January 5, 2014 in Singles

BPM Sampler 2014 Resonance RecordsA six-artist, six-track sampler here from Manchester’s Resonance Records, just in time for this year’s BPM festival in Mexico.

wAFF’s skanking, dubby take on Hatiras’s Spaced Invader (now retitled Space InvadaZ) gets proceedings off to a fine start, before Julien Sandre & Raffa RL’s Paranoid takes us into funk-fuelled tech-house territory. Cera Alba’s up next with Acidwave, whose title says it all, Dale Howard’s Right Now is a contemporary-style big room deep/tech houser whose bassline takes no prisoners, and Horsey Brothers give us Permission, another now-sounding deep houser with garage-y overtones.

Not being a big fan of indie-style vocals on house records, I must admit closer Push The Night by Casual Affair leaves these ears a little cold, but not to worry because there’s plenty to love elsewhere.

Out: This week

About: You can find Resonance Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Cera Alba – Can’t Let You Go

August 1, 2012 in Singles

Cere Alba Can't Let You Go Innnercircle

Some quality soulful deep house grooves here, on the second release from fledgling label Innercircle.

The Original of Can’t Let You Go starts with a long atmospheric intro and female drawn-out vocal wails reminiscent of Slam’s classic Eterna, before dropping down into a sparse, echo-y, bass-led groove, with some Detroitian synths added as the track progresses. The Lerosa Remix adds more substantial kicks and a different, Chi-town b-line, while Alex Agore’s remix – my pick – takes us into floataway, late-night territory and really allows the vocal to shine through.

Lovers of classic-style deep house and deep New Jersey garage will not be disappointed!

Out: This week

About: Innercircle is a new off-shoot of James Cotterill and Tom Craven’s Illusion Recordings, and based in the north of England. The link takes you to their Soundcloud page, or they’re on Facebook as well.