Various – 4/4 #26

June 25, 2016 in Singles

4/4 #26 1980 RecordingsDan McKie’s 1980 Recordings release the latest in their long-running 4/4 V/A series here, and it’s a cracker, with four varied but equally high-calibre tracks.

Alex A’s Reality is up first, a tuff-ish tech-houser with dramatic filtered synths and a spoken, sampled male vocal. Eddy Lassemblée’s Sound Of Da Police, which follows, is a lively lil’ bouncer with a nagging acid riff and cheeky bites from both Last Night A DJ Saved My Life and (obviously) KRS-One, as well as “bounce!” vocal of its own. Mathieu Basi & Keedo’s 3am In Detroit then takes us into far deeper territory, as you’d probably already guessed from the title, while finally Sterbal’s Creased is a lo-slung, bassy houser with prog and rave elements and a “don’t you tell me” vocal sample.

If pushed then Sound Of Da Police and 3am In Detroit are the standouts for me – but only just because this is good stuff all round.

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 1 July

About: Find 1980 Recordings on Facebook or at their own website.

Various – Proper Groovers Vol 1

June 5, 2016 in Singles

Proper Groovers Vol 1 Proper MusiqueSailing into far more contemporary waters now we have this V/A tech-house EP from Arno Stolz’s fledgling Belgian label Proper Musique.

The EP features four tracks from as many artists. Deetech’s opening Storm is a chunky, rolling affair with crisp 4/4s, shakers and a fat, whomping bassline, and is followed by Duke Tran & Paul Quzz’s Forty, a sparser, stuttery affair with distorted male spoken vox and disturbing synth screeches. Rone White’s Cut To The Chase rocks more straight-up housey kicks which it marries to a disco-tinged b-line, chanted male “bom-bom” vox and rave-y risers, while finally Tom Neatis’s Freeloader is a more percussive affair that makes good use of the filters to give it a slightly trippy, 4am kinda feel.

Four very solid floor-movers but Storm and Cut To The Chase stand out in particular.

Out: This week

About: Find Proper Musique on Soundcloud and Facebook, or at their own website.

Various – Jump Volume 1

May 8, 2016 in Albums

Jump Vol 1 Jump DigitalWe stay in tech-house territory now with the first-ever label comp from As I Am’s London-based imprint Jump Digital.

While it’d be fair to file the album under ‘tech-house’ generally, I should also say that there is actually some variety on offer here. Opener Baby Boo by Jesse James, for instance, comes on like a late-90s speed garage remix of Destiny’s Child or TLC, while Digital Three’s Dope has distinct echoes of Brit-house from the mid-90s. But overall, big bouncy tech-house bizniss is the general order of the day, with Argy Kay’s Answer and Behic Fellowes’ sinuous, acid-tinged Alright particularly worthy of your attention.

A great collection from a label I’ll be keeping a closer eye on in future!

Out: This week

About: You can find Jump Digital on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Waifs & Strays – Fire In Me EP

May 8, 2016 in Singles

Waifs & Strays Fire In Me EP LovecrimesThe very first release on a brand new label here: say hello, everyone, to Lovecrimes, which has just been set up by Amos Nelson (better known as Waifs & Strays) and partner-in-crime ITchy Rich.

Nelson himself is at the controls for the label’s debut offering, serving up two original cuts. Fire In Me itself is a now-sounding bassy houser with a full female vocal that’s a bit poppy but steers just the right side of the line, while C’mon ploughs a similar musical furrow but with bigger bass and, by way of vocal, just a man’s voice saying “c’mon” over and over. Remix-wise, Death On The Balcony’s rub of the title track downpitches the vocal in places and has more of a trippy, 4am kinda feel overall, but the pick for me is the Instradub Mix, which ditches the vocal entirely and lets that menacing b-line come to the fore.

Out: 6 May

About: You can find Lovecrimes… er, no, you can’t actually. Or I can’t, so here’s Waifs & Strays on Soundcloud instead.

Tommy Bones – Arrival EP

April 24, 2016 in Singles

Tommy Bones Arrival EP Strictly RhythmGonna keep it nice n’ deep tonight after last night’s trek through stompier pastures, starting with this two-tracker from the mighty Strictly Rhythm.

It’s the B-side you’ll be wanting to head for. Not that the A’s Aisha isn’t a perfectly playable lil’ slice of peaktime house music: it is. It’s heavily indebted to French Kiss, admittedly, but the jaunty piano chords save it from being a mere pastiche. But Aisha pales in comparison next to T’s Jazzy Joint on the B, a far deeper jam that does very much what it says on the tin. Crucially, though, its fluttering synth-flutes, tinkling vibes and scatty vocal snips are underpinned by rock-solid 4/4s and a satisfying full-fat bassline.

No chin-stroking noodlefest this one, just 5:57 of sumptuous house music to lose yourself in. Which I suggest you do at your earliest opportunity.

Out: This week

About: Find Strictly Rhythm  herehere and here.

Jana Falcon – Falling EP

April 23, 2016 in Singles

Jana Falcon Falling EP Smile For A WhileBerlin-based Smile For A While come with a four-track EP that won’t be to everyone’s taste, but that I rather like, so nyer.

Opener Contemplation Of Inadequacy is the track that’s most likely to be a stumbling block… tuff kicks plus M1-ish organs and Detroit-y strings are a winning combo but the female vocal does err a little to the poppy side. For me, though, it brings back memories of cheesy-but-fun Brummie bassline from a decade ago and makes me smile. Pretty much the same applies also to Falling (Again Boy); the main difference is Falling is a little faster.

Ne’er mind, though, cos the smoother Petria’s House with its plainitive “I miss your love” vocal is far less likely to upset the ‘credibility’ obsessed… particularly when it comes with a dark, sweaty Obsession Dub that could almost be a long-lost Adonis record! It’s this latter rub that’s really earning this EP its place here… but like I said, I quite like the other three as well.

Out: This week

About: Find Smile For A While on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Simztek & Dubz – Creating Genres EP

March 19, 2016 in Singles

Simztek & Dubz Creating Genres EP New Politics RecordsSeeing as it’s Saturday night let’s end on a slightly more ‘now’ and ‘up’ tip with this latest from New Politics Records.

Four tracks to choose from here. Get Up is a now-sounding, peaktime-friendly but non-cheesy house jam with old skool pianos, hefty warping bass that’s actually applied quite subtly and an R&B-ish “what’s up, what’s up, get your hands up, get your hands up” vocal sample, though I couldn’t tell you where it’s from. Innocence ploughs a deeper furrow and is reminscent of the more soulful end of late 90s UKG. Minimal Fuss starts out as an eyes-down, bass-and-drums workout, but as the track progresses attitude-y bass and looping fem vox join the party, while finally So Long is a big n’ bouncy future garage/bass house affair with wailing fem vox, gnarly rave bass and an overall ‘last half hour before the club shuts, let’s f***ing ‘ave it” kinda feel.

All four are probably best served to younger floors but Innocence should appeal to the older heads as well.

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 28 March

About: Find New Politics Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

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.

Riki Inocente – The Northern Rose Remixes Pt 1

March 13, 2016 in Singles

Riki Inocent The Northern Rose Remixes Pt 1 RejektsWe ended last night in quite ‘up’ territory, so let’s kick off there again tonight with this superb three-tracker from Iain Taylor’s Rejekts label.

First out in October last year, here Riki Inocente’s Northern Rose EP gets the remix treatment on this first EP in a series of two. Jamie Trench’s No Horn Dub takes The Journey into squelchy, bassy 3am territory, while Jem Haynes’ rerub of Mood 5 has something of a late-90s Nite Grooves kinda feel; both are quality, but the standout comes in the form of the label boss’s take on The Journey, which sees the track transformed into an unholy and utterly devastating cocktail of a dark, rumbling speed garage bassline and warping, spacey atmospheric synths.

Outstanding stuff that’ll rock any house floor worthy of the name.

Out: This week

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

Karmine Rosciano – Give EP

March 13, 2016 in Singles

Karmine Rosciano Give EP DeepclicksIf you drive along the M32 between Manchester and Leeds,  there’s a bit where the motorway splits in two, because some farmer refused to budge when it was being built. I mention this because, while I’m not entirely sure what the farmer’s motivation was or how the whole scenario’s panned out for him long-term, sometimes you have to admire the hold-outs and diehards of this world for their sheer tenacity. And when it comes to big mid-90s-sounding organ throbbers, I’d have to count myself in that number.

So, Phil Maher’s toned-down, smoothed-out mix of the title track here, with its extensive breakdowns and foregrounding of a soulful male vocal that’s used only in treated form on the original, is fine. Can’t Leave, a very 2016-style deep/tech house jam with cut-up R&B-ish vox, fat squelchy bass, hints of acid and Orb-ish synth flurries, is also fine. Deephope’s more laidback, late-night remix of Can’t Leave, with its 80s-sounding synths, is very fine, to be fair. But the title track itself, in its orginal form, with its echoing vox and big throbbing organ bassline? Now that’s a MONSTER.

It’s probably not very cool and trendy to say so, but ask me if I care. You’re gonna have to build your Berlin hipster autobahn around my Korg M1 farm and that’s all there is to it!

Out: This actually came out on general release LAST week, but somehow it got missed – and was too good to let slide.

About: This comes on Spain’s Deep Clicks, who are no strangers to this blog and who you can find on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.