Right, due to being away at the weekend and various other stuff I seem to have got stupidly behind, with half a dozen releases from last week that I promised reviews on still not seen to. So, in the interests of trying to get up to speed, I’m just gonna rattle through them all quickly here… with apologies to all concerned that these aren’t getting the more in-depth coverage they deserve.
Hollis Parker – Looking Back EP
A three-tracker here from So Sure Music and the UK producer who was responsible for their “very classy debut” back in September. Infinity is a saxy, summery affair with sparingly applied spoken/rap vox, Parker’s Lament is another saxomophone-sporting cut with a lazy, beachy vibe about it while The Moment is slightly chunkier but operates in similar territory to the other two, with some gorgeous chorus’d scat vox to boot. If you like your deep house on the lounge-y, jazzy side, then you need to check for this EP at once… more info here.
Optimuss & Sergio Pardo – Beatrocker
This one’s nice and quick cos there’s only the one mix. Coming on Kenny Ground’s Old School Department label, Beatrocker is a tech-tinged deep houser with a fat, funky bassline, retro pianos, barely there vocal fragments and some cool disco stabs for good measure. There’s no great reinvention of the wheel going on, admittedly, but the Swiss have always been good at trad-style house music – see, for instance, the entire Purple Music catalogue – and this does nothing to diminish that reputation. More info here.
Jourdan Bourdes – Ready & Able EP
A fine four-track EP here from Endemic Digital. Chicken Legs is a bass-y tech-house jam with a slightly wonky, Classic/Freaks kinda feel, Koh Phangan Jacks rocks a big warping b-line, vintage-style pianos and equally retro-tastic “jack your body” vox – not the Hurley one, though – and Nelson’s Legend is big n’ bouncy but with ethereal vox (a girl talking about her dreams) that save it from being just ANOther tech-house workout. Completing the package is Bourdes’ remix of Garret Leporto’s The Wayseer Manifesto, which pairs driving beats and mid-90s M1 organs with a spoken psychobabble vocal. More info here.
Murvin Sound – Keep On Movin’ EP
Welsh label Criminal Hype are the masterminds behind this three-track offering from French producer Murvin Sound. The title track is a lively dancefloor cut with a familiar “I’ve got to keep on, you’ve got to keep on” female vocal that loops throughout and a speed garage bassline. My Pump operates in similar territory, but is a little less brash and sports a downpitched Technotronic vocal sample, while finally Romancing maintains the energy levels but nonetheless heads a little deeper, snatching the gold in the process. More info here.
Saytek – Challenging Behaviour EP
Now let’s take a detour into techier pastures with this three-tracker from everyone’s favourite live dance music workaholic Saytek, which is only the third release from new London label Republic Artists Records. Another Acid Track is the standout for me, a track that’ll delight those whose raving CV starts in the 80s – or those who are gutted they missed it all! Elsewhere, Bubbling Under is glitchier and aimed more at the technoheads, while finally Challenging Behaviour itself is deep, hypnotic and long on 303 bass, atmospheric synths/FX and trippy vocal snips. More info here.
Various – Adam’s Groove EP
A V/A four-tracker here that’s only the second release from another Welsh label, Ranura Records. GRECO (NYC) is up first with Hart Plaza, which starts out deep n’ dreamy but gets tuffer and more tribal as it goes on. Wales’s own Harrison BDP gives us 12″, a floor-friendly deep houser with strong UKG influences, John Randle’s I’m Here With You is a peaktime chugger that could’ve come out at any point in the past 20 years (in a good way), while Matt McLarrie’s Ghetto Me Out Of Here rocks an array of familiar sounds from squelchy rave bass to James Brown horns, and tops the lot with a spoken male vocal about “pledging allegiance to all the ghettos in the world”. For such a young label, this is a very strong set indeed – more info here.
Brame & Hamo – The Parish Rumors EP
Finally for tonight we have the latest offering from Detroit Swindle’s Heist Recordings label, which is the work of an Irish duo from Co Sligo. Parish Rumors itself is a lively, rolling deep houser with disco/boogie leanings, Ghetto For You is a more languid, low-slung groove with a jazz-style female vocal, and then last but not least comes Hotshot, a deeper, more sultry affair with, again, a laidback and jazzy kinda feel. Good stuff as ever from Heist – more info here.