O.O.R.S – Les Deux Villes EP

October 3, 2015 in Singles

O.O.R.S Les Deux Villes EP Lucky Sun RecordingsJust looked back and it’s been over a year since London’s O.O.R.S featured on this blog, which is way too long when you remember he makes records as good as this one!

Maule is up first, which starts out in the uber-deep n’ throbby zone then builds slowly for two minutes until some gloriously old skool stabby Balearic synths and tinkling ivories come sweeping in. Howard Sessions then supplies a remix which is fairly faithful to the original, but ups the ‘chunky, chuggy’ factor and adds a dramatic breakdown in the middle followed by some harder-edged bass synth action. Completing the package is Mechelen, a slightly funkier, more rolling deep house groover with yet more old skool keys, this time nodding respectfully to first-wave house outta Chicago.

Not picking a fave here – all three tracks are very, very playable indeed.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by Tom Lown’s Lucky Sun Recordings, who you can find floating on a cloud made of sound, or with their noses stuck in a book of faces, or camping with some bands.

Makka & Howard Sessions – The Re:Tweak Vinyl EP

July 27, 2015 in Singles

Makka & Howard Sessions The Re:Tweak Vinyl EP 3am RecordingsEven though it’s not out till 3 August, I was meaning to get something up about this last week but time slipped me by. See, this is a bit of an unusual release. For one thing, it marks a return to vinyl for 3am Recordings, who’ve been operating on a digital-only basis for the past half a decade or more. More importantly, it’s being released via Qrates, a kind of crowdfunding service for vinyl.

As I understand it, Qrates lets you create a vinyl release – by specifying play speed, label artwork, vinyl colour, packaging etc, much like ordering something from VistaPrint – which you then ‘pitch’ to the general public as you would a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project. Then if – and only if – you meet the requisite 100 orders, they get pressed up and sent out. If this means that more young labels can take the plunge into vinyl, this can only be a good thing!

As for the EP itself… well, 3am has a long pedigree making deep house and this latest offering doesn’t disappoint. The two originals, the garage-leaning A Beautiful Day and jazz-tinged The Mild Cigar, were actually out digitally in 2011, but Nick Devon’s stompier refix of the former and label boss Al Bradley’s 3am Deep Remix of the latter are brand new for this EP, making this ultra-limited 12″ one that no self-respecting 3am fan – or indeed deep house buyer generally – will want to miss.

Out: 3 August (do pay attention) but you’ll want to get your orders in sharpish to make sure it happens!

About: You can find 3am Recordings here, here and here… but the link that really matters tonight is this one so you can buy the damn thing.

Low Tone – You’ll Be Lucky EP

April 19, 2015 in Singles

Low Tone You'll Be Lucky EP What HappensA two-track, four-mix EP here from Tim Andresen’s ever-checkable What Happens imprint and Low Tone, AKA the Yorkshire duo of Al ‘3am Recordings’ Bradley and Carlo ‘Midnight Social’ Gambino.

You’ll Be Lucky itself, in its original form, is a crackly, tuff-but-deep house groover with crisp beats, monstrous rolling bass, moody synth washes and a “hey, who do you think I am?” female vocal sample. Howard Sessions’ remix tones down the atmospherics and opts for warmer 4/4s and a different bassline, while adding a spoken male vocal and fat, squelchy synths. The other original cut, Goin’ On, uses a female “You got it goin’ on” vocal that’s a little too close to Groove Armada’s I See You Baby (AKA the most annoying vocal in house music history) for comfort, but that’s a personal thing… otherwise it’s a nice warm, chunky deep house chugger sporting some trippy FX/atmospherics that make it a cert for small-hours play, while Phasen’s refix is a techier, dare I say proggier pass with some great spangled keys action.

All four are plenty playable, as you’d expect from such a heavyweight line-up, but the Howard Sessions mix takes the gold for me.

Out: This week

About: You can find What Happens here, here and here.

Various – The Mix Tape EP

May 17, 2014 in Singles

Mix Tape EP Midnight Social RecordingsAnd the quality deep house vibes keep a-comin’, in this instance in the form of a five-track V/A EP that sees Midnight Social Recordings making their second TIWWD appearance of the week… in part because I’ve just realised I got the release date of the Dee Brown single wrong!

Arthur Den’s Way Things Feel gets the ball rolling, a dubbed-out affair coming laden with all manner of atmospheric synth doodles. Elomak’s brilliantly titled Steve Austin Can Run Faster is a more peaktime, strutty kinda cut that flows and ebbs with plenty of big-room drama and umpteen different vocal snips. Howard Sessions gives us Roots, which nods towards the early prog of labels like Guerrilla while also sporting some Italo-ish analogue synths and a vocal bite from a certain Smooth Touch classic. Lost Pieces’ OK, Party People is a stripped-down and jackin’ afterhours deep houser (and I’m not going to insult your intelligence by telling you which classic vocal gets a run-out on this one!), and then finally TwoQuarters give us Morro, which tops quite driving beats and sweeping synth washes with, first, a mournful “burning in my soul” vocal loop and later a sweet female “got to give you love” line.

If it’s PROPER deep house with a forward-thinking, slightly leftfield twist you’re after, this EP will serve you nicely.

Out: This week

About: Find Midnight Social Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Howard Sessions – Dusted EP

June 8, 2013 in Singles

Howard Sessions Dusted EP 3am RecordingsThis came out on Monday, and now I look more closely at the hype sheet, I wish I’d reviewed it then, because the 3 June release date was chosen to mark ten years to the day since 3am Recordings’ first-ever release. Sorry Al… but happy belated birthday anyway!

Lost My Dog regular Howard Sessions is the man they’ve invited round for jelly and ice cream. Dusted in its original form is a dreamy, drifty but still energetic deep houser, tailor-made for afterhours floors and sporting a cheeky vocal steal from Circuit 22’s classic Shelter Me (also half-inched by Bizarre Inc back in the day). Audiotonic then serves up a lo-slung and chunkier refix with some killer wah-wah guitar licks.

You also get three mixes of Big Mike, a team-up between Howard and his brother Makka, all sporting the same sampled, spoken female vocal. The original could be Dave Lee with his Akabu head on, while a remix from Cargo resident Black Blooms operates in similar territory but with a heavier, druggier feel. Askani’s Latin Fusion Mix is fairly self-explanatory, really, though I’ve gotta say I’m not as convinced by the speeded-up vox here.

Nonetheless, a fine way to mark ten years in the game.

Out: This week, obviously

About: Send ‘I am 10’ badges to 3am via Soundcloud or Facebook

City Soul Project – Sunday

March 29, 2013 in Singles

City Soul Project Sunday i! RecordsSomething of a British invasion thing going on here, as Scott ‘Savoir Faire’ Harrington and Ryan Briggs’s City Soul Project come to legendary New Jersey label i! Records, bringing some other big names from the UK’s deep house scene with them.

The original version of Sunday is a musical, midtempo affair, with fat live-sounding bass, muted strings, jazzy geetar runs and subdued crowd noise… perfect for Sunday mornings, in fact! Al Bradley & Howard Sessions beef up the kicks on their remix and go for a slightly more stripped-down feel that retains the luxuriance of the original but really lets those cello stabs shine through, while Martijn’s rub is a sparser, dubbier pass for very late floors.

With such a stellar line-up this was never gonna fail really… proper jazzy, soulful deep bizniss.

Out: This week

About: Find i! Records on Facebook or at their own website.

Audio Analysts – LA Groove EP

June 9, 2012 in Singles

Something Different LA Groove EP

A new EP here from the ever-checkable Something Different that sees the label going down a slightly more techy route than on previous outings.

LA Groove itself starts out with slightly swung and tribal-leaning beats topped off with understated psychedelic geetars buried low in the mix, then gradually introduces organ stabs and strings before finally allowing the six-string to emerge into the sunlight… “in sunlight” (perhaps on a certain Mediterranan island) being where this track would be most at home. The accompanying remix from Sergio Santos & Tamer Malki goes down a very different road, as they transform the track into a lugubrious techy chugger made for afterhours play.

On the flip, Roll Call is in its original form another tribal-influenced number that harks back to the early progressive era (think Spooky, Drum Club etc) with its chanted vox and big squelchy synth-bass, before the pick of the EP (for me) arrives in the form of Howard Sessions’ ominously brooding deep/tech house rework.

Something different from Something Different, then, but solid stuff as ever.

Out: This week

About: You can keep up with Something Different’s goings-on at their Soundcloud and Facebook pages.

Jeremy Breen – Holic Down

April 12, 2012 in Singles

There’s no stopping Scott Harrington’s Savoir Faire Musique at the moment… the man himself recently told me “had FAR too much good music pinged my way so had to sign it!”. Which is encouraging, isn’t it?

This particular piece of good music comes from an Argentinian professional pianist by the not particularly Argentinian-sounding name of Jeremy Breen. In its original form, Holic Down is an uplifting, floaty, dreamy kind of sunrise deep houser with chorused, high-pitched female “Closer… closer… closer” vox. Niceness does, indeed, abound. A deeper refix from Howard Sessions & Al Bradley then drops most of the vox and beefs up the bottom end for the 4am floors, while finally we get a fairly self-explanatory (ie, it sounds all sub-aquatic and is dripping in 303 throb n’ squelch) Whales On Acid Remix from Essex boy Lee ‘Pretty Criminals’ Daines.
All three are of the high quality you’d expect both from SFM and from the heavy-hitting remixers involved, making it hard to pick a favourite, though if pushed really hard and threatened with being beaten around the head with a rolled-up copy of Take A Break magazine, I’d probably have to plump for Lee’s uber-deep late-night groover.
Out: This week
About: Some Savoir Faire Musique links you (hopefully!) might have clicked on before… Facebook Soundcloud Blog

EXCLUSIVE! Jesus Pablo – The Story So Far EP

March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

Right then, breaking the rules here cos this isn’t out till next week… but as Mr Pablo was kind enough to let me be one of only two people getting sent it (i! Records don’t really DO promo), it seemed somewhat daft to sit on it!

TIWWD has been a fan of this young Liverpudlian producer’s style of house music for some time now. His is an approach that’s respectful to the past, yet sounds as contemporary as anything else around, and that’s no easy trick to pull off. Accordingly, it’ll come as no surprise when I tell you… I’m loving this.
There are three tracks in a total of five mixes. The Story So Far itself is led by sparkling pianos counterpointed by Detroitian string stabs, and is gorgeously musical even if it never really kicks off, making it best suited for afterhours or sunny afternoon sessions. For club thrills, best head to the Robot Oil Remix, which adds solid, driving 4/4s and some subdued scat vox and Spanish guitars.
Behind The Line is more yer straight-up deep house dancefloor cut – not that there’s anything wrong with that! It’s warm, funky and a wee bit left coast-ish in its Original form, and also comes accompanied by a Howard Sessions remix that’s a tad techier and dubbier. Endless Dream then brings the EP to a close on a suitably, er, dreamy note… one for those comedown sessions for sure.
A strong EP all round, as befits its appearance on such a well-loved classic US label. The boy from Merseyside done good.
Out: Next week
About: If you need me to tell you who i! Records are, then frankly I despair… anyway, here’s their website and Facebook page

Howard Sessions – Meddlin’ With Me Melody

October 13, 2011 in Singles

More quality deep house here, this time from Leeds-based boss of Re:Tweak Records, Howard Sessions, making a guest appearance on the ever-reliable Lost My Dog.

Sessions himself provides two versions of the title track, the lazy* pads ’n’ percussion-based groove of the original and the more ‘classic’-sounding Howard’s Drunken Mix, which makes a lot more of the rather lovely pianos. The remix honours here though go to Larry Fives, AKA Laurence Ritchie, who works some IKs-style magic with the tune and reconfigures it as a reet jaunty lil’ dancefloor number.
You also get two mixes of Barking. The original here’s kind of deep house with the most subtle of nods to UKG sounds, while the remix foregrounds the soulful “let’s ride” vocal sample and gets busy with some shufflin’ percussion, before getting progressively mellower and more spaced-out as the minutes tick by.
Nice and easy does it…
Out: This week
About: You shouldn’t need me to tell you anything about Lost My Dog by now, surely? So I won’t. Ha!
*that’s ‘lazy’ as in the track’s kinda unhurried and doesn’t seem in any mad rush to grab you by the jugular, you understand… not ‘lazy’ as in he should have done more with it. Just so’s we’re clear.