Demuir – Jacktified

March 19, 2016 in Singles

Demuir Jacktified I'm A House GangsterA pleasingly varied five-tracker here from I’m A House Gangster.

Rise Of The Sagittarian is up first, a boompty-jazz affair with rollin’ beats, tinkling ivories and sampled, spoken jazzman vox. Talkn Bout Gangsta treads a slightly more familiar strutty tech/G-house path for IAHG, but if the gangsta/hip-hop vox are too much for you it’s accompanied by a Dub that lets the funk of the track’s underlying groove shine through. Completing the EP is Raw N Crazy, another distinctly jazzual affair – and one where you might be glad there’s a Clean version included cos the spoken female vocal on the original may be just a little, ahem, ‘frank’ for some tastes…

All good, but Rise… takes the gold for me.

Out: This week

About: Find I’m A House Gangster on Soundcloud, on Facebook and at their own website.

Various – IAHG Bangers #1

December 15, 2015 in Albums

NIAHG Bangers #1 I'm A House Gangsterext up, we move to almost the opposite end of the house spectrum from the smooth, soulful grooves of Basement Boys, and jump straight int0 this collection of big, strutty club cuts from DJ Sneak’s I’m A House Gangster imprint.

On first listen, the album can come across as a bit same-y, with stomping, tracky shizzle the order of the day throughout. Bangers these indeed are! After a play or two, though, you realise there’s actually quite a bit of variety on offer nevertheless, from the blues-tinged G-house of HR & Ski’s Rewind It Back, to the deeper grooves of Sidney Charles’s House Peopz, the bumpin’ jazz-flecked tech-house of Tripmastaz’ Rollin’ Mars and even nods to footwork/juke on Kid Enigma’s Shoelaces. Chuck in offerings from the likes of Hector Moralez, Joeski, Ramon Tapia and of course the Sneaky one himself, and what you end up with is a very fine collection of club shakers that sound 100% contemporary, yet steer clear of obvious 2015-isms in favour of a more classic approach to stripped-down, jackin’ house music.

There’s a reason Sneak’s been on top of this game for two whole decades y’know…

Out: Now (but only since Friday)

About: You can find I’m A House Gangster on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Dennis Quin – Wicked Love EP

December 13, 2015 in Singles

Dennis Quin Wicked Love EP Simma BlackNormally I like to end Sunday’s reviews on a more downtempo/chilled-out kinda note, but I’ve shot myself right in the foot this week because instead what we have left to talk about here is some big, strutty bass-house bizniss from Simma Black.

Wicked Love itself centres around a simple up-and-down bass riff that’s mirrored by a tinky-tonk synth line, and topped by a full-throated female vocal (“So when I see you and my knees go weak, heart skips a beat and I/should tell you how I really feel but I can’t help that I/might find that if I tell you so my love will be denied/so tell me what am I to do on all these lonely nights?” plus a higher-register “wicked love” chorus. There’s an accompanying Radio Edit, while completing the package are the G-housey vibes of Break Of Dawn (“we ain’t leavin’ till 6 in the morning/we ain’t gonna stop till the break of dawn”) and Frustration with its big ruff bassline and fast-chat, Wildchild-ish rap vocal.

Downtempo and chilled? No. Big, stompy and certified floor-destroying? Undoubtedly, with Break Of Dawn leading the charge.

Out: This week

About: You can find Simma Black on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Hidden State – Home Coming EP

November 27, 2015 in Singles

FAF071Some very now-sounding, bass-y house grooves on this two-tracker from Form & Function.

On the A, What You Done starts with clipped vocal snippets and a snaking electro-ish synth line, which are soon joined by throbbing synth-bass, tough kicks and chopped n’ looped R&B vox, the end result being a track that’ll keep an already warmed-up floor moving nicely. It’s the B’s Relax that stands out for yours truly, though, a more lo-slung affair with a sleazoid bassline, almost rave-y synth chords and a looped, G-house-ish “I said baby it’s time to relax” male vocal.

Out: This week

About: You can find Form & Function on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Ozzi – The Funk

October 27, 2015 in Singles

Ozzi The Funk Dusty GroovesOzzi has featured on TIWWD several times before, with bass-y, garage-y house releases on labels like Criminal Hype, Xylo and his own All Over It Records… now he steps up with some deep/tech-house stylings for fledgling UK label Dusty Grooves.

Three quite different rubs of The Funk to choose from. The original is the big n’ strutty one, with rolling drums, garage-y stabs/chords and a looped “the funk, baby!” rap vocal. The S. Jay Remix heads a little deeper and is also very playable, but the standout to these ears is the Ensall Remix, which maintains the energetic feel of the original but adds some killer Hammond organ licks.

Out: Friday (30 October)

About: This is only the second release from Dusty Grooves, who are based in the thriving electronic music hub that is Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire. You can find out more here, here and here.

Martinez & Quadelli – Coliseum Funk EP

October 25, 2015 in Singles

Martinez & Quadelli Coliseum Funk EP Criminal HypeManchester duo Martinez & Quadelli step up with some big, strutty G-house/tech-house vibes for Welsh label Criminal Hype here.

Colisuem Funk itself is quite mid/late 90s sounding, its cut-up rap vox and fat bass being more than a little reminiscent of Wildchild’s classic Renegade Master. The accompanying Raffa FL Remix uses the vocal a little more sparingly, while tuffening up the drums somewhat and swapping in a rather large bassline of its own. The other original cut, Right Now, is a more straight-up house affair that’d work in deep and tech sets alike with its no-nonsense drums, garage-y chords/stabs, familiar looping female “I’ve got to keep on, you’ve got to keep on” vox and second, spoken male vocal, while the accompanying Yade Remix treads a more dark, twisted n’ bassy path though without losing the house-y feel entirely.

The original mix of Right Now is the killer for me.

Out: This week

About: Find Criminal Hype  on Soundcloud and Facebook. This is the label’s 30th release.

Various – The Hype Vol 1

September 21, 2015 in Singles

The Hype Vol 1 Criminal HypeAnd speaking of chunky, techy, bassy, bouncy-ass house music (see MadTech review below)… after two albums from much-respected NYC veterans we jump to the opposite end of the spectrum with this first label comp from fledgling Welsh label Criminal Hype.

“Vast vibes across house and techno… no fillers” is how the hype sheet describes it. But as simply copy and pasting that sentence doesn’t really count as a review, I’ll say instead that there are 10 cuts on offer, from the likes of Italobros, Ki Creighton, Ozzi and Dene Antony (that is: not complete newbies but not household names either) and that the music taken as a whole spans tech-house, G-house and that variety of 2015-style house that some folk like to grumble about because “it’s really just 90s garage”… like that was a bad thing? Echoes of Tyree Cooper on Cal Johnstone’s Dooper are enough to win it ‘highlight’ status, with other standouts including the slightly deeper, more musical vibes of Jonathan Squillace’s Acta Non Verba and Ian Jay & Matt Williams’s Need It, a track that takes me back to 1001 bass drops on various speed garage and bassline house floors over the past two decades. Again, though, you’ll find your own faves because the standard is high throughout.

I love albums like this – they make me feel like the future of house n’ garage music is safe for a while yet…

Out: Now (but only since yesterday)

About: You can find Criminal Hype on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Magnetic Cuts Vol 3

September 14, 2015 in Albums

Magnetic Cuts Vol 3 Magnetic RecordingsCompared to the Holic Trax release below, our second compilation of the evening is a much more straightforward affair, being the third volume (of six) in this resolutely floor-focused series from DJ Sneak’s Magnetic Recordings.

Sneak himself supplies six of the ten tracks, with the rest coming from well-known friends like Phil Weeks & Joss Moog, DJ W!LD, H-Foundation and Bluntz & Roachez (all right, the last one’s a new name to me… but the remix comes from Hector Moralez, so nyer), and as you’d expect, jacking house grooves are the order of the day from start to finish. The aforesaid B&R’s We Is Underground is one highlight to these ears, the expletive-laden boompty-jazz of Sneak’s Gangster Steppin’ another, but you’re bound to find your own faves so I’d suggest diving on in…

Out: Now

About: You can find Magnetic Recordings and all other things Sneak-related herehere and here.

Various – Ibiza Sleaze 2015/Ibiza G 2015

August 31, 2015 in Albums

Sister labels Sleazy Deep and Sleazy G both released label comps last week, and there’s another one coming this week… so hopefully they’ll forgive me for doubling them up in one review.

Ibiza Sleaze 2015 Sleazy DeepLabel boss Rob Made is at the controls for the Sleazy Deep comp, with 15 tracks that take in nu-disco, indie-dance and deep/tech house in varying shades. One or two of the indie-dance cuts get a bit too pop-tastic for these ears, I have to say, but it’s not a problem because there are some cracking tunes elsewhere – Dino Grand & Roni Iron’s diva-vocalled, speed garage-nodding Your Love is an absolute beast, while Ripley & Murdock’s You, Ilya Garbuz’s Inside and Tamar Sabadini’s cheeky Warehouse are also well worth checking.

Ibiza G 2015 Sleazy GAs for the Sleazy G comp, I’ve gotta say I’m rather impressed. It’s always tricky when a label pins its colours so firmly to the mast of any one sub-genre; partly from a ‘label lifespan’ point of view and partly because you do run the risk of ending up with a back catalogue that all sounds exactly the bleedin’ same! It’s to Sleazy G’s credit, then, that while the essential G-house blueprint – strutty tech-house drums and rap samples galore – is essentially adhered to throughout the 24 tracks selected and mixed by Doug English and Ross Regs, the album never gets boring, taking in influences ranging from classic acid house and speed garage, to very contemporary bass-heavy house and just a hint of nu-disco.

Out: Now

About: Find Sleazy Deep on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website, while sub-label Sleazy G has a Facebook page all its own.

Henry St Social – Don’t Stop Rocking

July 30, 2015 in Singles

Henry St Social Don't Stop Rocking Endemic DigitalGetting a little tuffer n’ techier now with this two-tracker from Endemic Digital.

On the A, Don’t Stop Rocking itself starts out with no-nonsense 4/4s before adding a hefty throbbing bassline, rave-y keyboard stabs and chopped-up “don’t stop rocking the beat” rap vox, with a little wobble bass thrown for good measure. Flip it for Stitched Up, which is a BPM or two more sedate but has a seriously gnarly, rave-y bassline, more cut-up rap vox and some Detroit-y strings.

Two very solid cuts but for dancefloor purposes the title cut’s the one I’d reach for first – it’s got just that little bit more energy.

Out: This week

About: Find Endemic Digital here and here