James Silk – Where’s Larry EP?

May 12, 2015 in Singles

James Silk Where's Larry EP HeyoFinally for tonight we have another two-track offering, this one coming from a producer who needs no introduction for TIWWD reader…s

Where’s Larry? itself is quite a quirkly lil’ dancefloor bullet, what with is old skool squelchy, hip-swayin’ bassline, jive-talkin’ vocal samples and unexpected jaunt, midway through, into The Land Of The Big Analogue Synth Sweeps… all of which is topped with a man’s voice saying “Larry?” every now and then. Over on the B-side, meanwhile. Rockefeller is a more straight-ahead, contemporary-style deep/tech house groover, with lashings of fat bass and some cheeky bites from Let The Music Play by way of a vocal.

Quality fare as ever from Mr Silk, with Rockefeller my pick of the two.

Out: This week

About: This is only the second ever release on James’ own Heyo imprint. They don’t seem to have much of a web presence as a label yet, but you can find James Silk on Facebook.

James Silk – The Illuminati EP

April 16, 2015 in Singles

James Silk The Illuminati EP HeyoI’ve never met or spoken to James Silk. We’re not Facebook friends, I’ve never even had an email from him. Basically he’s nowt to do with me and I know pretty much sweet FA about the lad.

I mention this because it does seem like every time he puts out a record I rave about it on here, and I just want to be clear that there’s no nepotism involved. It’s got to a point where I wish he’d release a mediocre record that I could ignore. Somewhat annoyingly, though, he insists on coming up with the goods time and time again. In this particular instance, the goods come in the form of a two-track EP for his own brand new label, Heyo. On the A, The Illuminati itself is a squelchy, bassy, pulsating house workout topped with sampled speech (US politico John Kerry, the power of Google has just informed me), treated female vocal snips and layered synths. Over on the B, meanwhile, Escape is similarly bass-y and pace-y, but comes armed with snatches of male falsetto vox and lashings of acid.

So to sum up: predictably top-drawer shiznit from one of the most reliable young producers currently in the game. Damn his black soul!

Out: This week

About: As I said, this is the debut release from Heyo, and as far as I can make out they’re so new they don’t really have an online presence of their own yet. So here’s Mr Silk’s own Soundcloud and Facebook instead.

James Silk – La Noche

March 14, 2015 in Singles

James Silk La Noche Hive AudioNext up we have another two-tracker, this one coming from a producer who needs no introduction to TIWWD readers!

We’ll start with the B-side, The Journey. A fairly lively deep/tech house groover with lashings of hefty bass at the bottom end, female moans at the top and piano stabs in the middle, it’s as good as we’ve come to expect from James. But La Noche itself… La Noche is something else, an absolute MONSTER of an instrumental that comes on like a Plastic Dreams for the 2010s. By which I mean a) it’s the kind of track that’ll work on all manner of house and techno dancefloors and b) it sounds a bit like Plastic Dreams. That’s an observation, not a complaint, though – La Noche is a killer.

In fact, if this track isn’t huge, I’ll eat ALL of my hats. And I’m known for my hats, so that’s saying something.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by Switzerland’s Hive Audio, who you can find here, here and here.

James Silk – Language EP

October 19, 2014 in Singles

James Silk Lanuage EP Hive AudioA three-tracker here from the ever-dependable James Silk, coming on Switzerland’s Hive Audio.

Opener Amante is a contemporary-style bassy houser, quite heads-down and chuggy with an indecipherable looped, treated male vocal. Danza operates in the more trad-style arena that we know and love this producer for, with clappy beats and a full-phat bassline topped with crystalline synths and snippets of very Kathy Brown-ish vocal. And then finally Hassen is a proggy, anthemic instrumental complete with TWO big, dramatic breakdowns.

No prizes for guessing it’s Danza that’s my fave but it’s good to see Mr Silk stretching his musical wings a bit.

Out: This week on Beatport, everywhere else from 27 October

About: You can find Hive Audio here, here and here.

James Silk & Dharkfunkh – Nobody

July 25, 2014 in Singles

James Silk & Dharkfunkh Nobody Erase RecordsThe last of our ‘usual suspects’ tonight is James Silk, though it’s fair to say he’s been a bit less usual of late – in fact, was just starting to wonder what had happened to the lad when this landed in the inbox! Here, then, Mr Silk teams up with dharkfunkh, AKA Brummie producer Steve Ricketts, for a two-tracker on Wasabi’s Erase Records.

Nobody is a struttin’, deep-ish but peaktime-friendly houser, with a wicked descending b-line, diva-y “remember this” vox and organ sounds that suggest Mr Ricketts may have been no stranger to his hometown’s bassline house scene back in the day. S’cool, but it’s actually the flipside Hold On that takes top honours for yours truly, as a very famous Lisa Stansfield vocal rides crisp drums, handclaps and some proper sleazy, ass-shakin’ bass squelch.

Out: This week

About: You can find Erase Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Purple Disco Machine/James Silk – My House/These Sheets

June 11, 2013 in Singles

Purple Disco Machine My House OFF RecordingsA split release this week from OFF Recordings.

Dresden-based Purple Disco Machine takes care of business on the A-side, serving up My House, a lilting, lazy, summery houser based around a sampled “as for me and my house…” preacherman vocal and an annoyingly familiar-sounding geetar hook. Over on the B, meanwhile, Liverpudlian wunderkind James Silk gives us These Sheets, a midtempo, constantly evolving affair with plenty of fat bass coming from the place where deep house and nu-boogie collide.

Out: This week

About: You can find Berlin’s OFF Recordings on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

James Silk – Love Commands/Baby It’s You

February 19, 2013 in Singles

James Silk Love Commands King StreetOne of TIWWD’s current fave producers returns to the mighty King Street here, following his recent appearance on the veteran US stable’s #387 V/A EP.

Silk’s particular knack lies in reinventing classic house tropes, so it’s fitting that on this two-tracker for such an iconic US house label, he’s doing just that. A-side Love Commands is essentially a 21st century reworking of Gisele Jackson’s 1996 classic Love Commandments, powered by a monster of a bassline that’s every bit as phat and funky as the original, just considerably more contemporary-sounding. Over on the B, meanwhile, Baby It’s You lifts, of course, its vocal hook from ATFC feat Lisa Millett’s Bad Habit, placing the resung line over a midtempo backing with a more understated (but still full-phat) bassline and dreamily tinkling synths.

There is perhaps a worry that Silk risks, in once again paying homage to house music of days gone by, painting himself into a corner. But for now, this is bang on the money.

Out: This week

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

Various – No. 387 EP

January 10, 2013 in Singles

No 387 EP King Street SoundsThis is the 387th release from the King Street Sounds stable… which doesn’t say a lot for the amount of imagination and blue-sky thinking that went into naming the EP! Still, we’ll let ’em off – for three reasons.

Firstly… 387 releases! Staggering, really. Secondly, while they haven’t spent much time thinking of a title for the EP, they clearly did put some into selecting the tracks on it, because they’re all rather good. And thirdly and most importantly, because the EP serves as a prime example of just how well King Street – one of THE classic US house labels – have adjusted to the changing house landscape. Accordingly, what we have here – on the mothership label, notice, not on Street King or even on Nite Grooves – are four tracks that are as now-sounding as they come.

TIWWD fave James Silk leads the charge with the garage-y Inside Of Me, which pulls off his usual trick of achieving a fine balance between classic and contemporary sounds. Less Hate & Valentina Black’s With You is a far chunkier and more driving proposition, a proper bass-throbbing deep/tech dark room epic. So Deaf!’s Break It Down then drops the pace once more, starting out all mellow and late-night but getting more glitchy and weirded-out as it goes on, while finally Karlanca’s Tout Va is a fierce n’ firing drum track with some funky geetar flecks around the edges.

Silk’s contribution stands out for me (no surprises there) but all four tracks are more than playable, and like I said, the EP as a whole is testament to Hisa and crew’s laudable willingness to embrace the new.

Out: This week

About: Find King Street/Nite Grooves at their websiteFacebook or Soundcloud pages.

Various – Unrivaled Music’s 100th Release

January 8, 2013 in Albums

Unrivaled Music's 100th ReleaseWell then… here’s one you can’t fault in the value for money stakes, as to celebrate their 100th release, Unrivaled drop a label comp featuring a whopping 50 tracks. That’s 50, not 30 as I said yesterday, and all for just £12.99 which is hard to argue with, really.

I’m clearly not going into every track individually, or I’d be posting this tomorrow. But overall, what’s interesting to note is the contrast between this and the sampler we looked at recently from parent/sister label Endemic Digital. Where that one showed Endemic’s broad musical palette, this set serves to underline Unrivaled’s position as the ‘strictly deep house’ label in the Endemic camp. The 50 tracks consist of “21 new tracks, 9 licensed and 20 re-releases”, so while some of what’s here may be familiar to TIWWD readers (such as label boss Wez Saunders’ rave-tinged The B Side, which I for one was very glad to hear again), much of it will be new as well.

And with contributions from TIWWD faves like James Silk, Tony S, Danny eM, Pao Calderon and Dave James, plus a host of newer names (of whom Francesco De Argentis impresses perhaps the most, with his fairly self-explanatory Back To The Old School), you’re not going to go far wrong really, are you? An unmissable collection.

Out: This week

About: You can find Endemic/Unrivaled/Sounds Of Juan on Facebook and on Soundcloud.

James Silk – Night Girls EP/Paid My Dues EP

November 1, 2012 in Singles

James Silk Night Girls EP Family Matters

Not one but two new EPs out this week from a producer TIWWD has been trumpeting for quite some time now, James Silk.

First up is the Night Girls EP on Family Matters, a four-tracker featuring All Night, Automatic Sistematic, Love You Right and Oh Girl. As is Mr Silk’s wont, contemporary-sounding deep house infused with soul and a strong sense of house music history is the general order of the day: the standout cut for me is All Night, which works the vocal from Pulse’s The Lover That You Are over cavernous beats.

The Paid My Dues EP, meanwhile, comes on Form-and Function and features three more original Silk trax, with big squelchy basslines featuring prominently and the atmospheric 1.21 Gigawatts the pick for me.

James Silk Paid My Dues EP Form-and Function

Two strong EPs that merely serve to confirm James Silk as one of the hottest young producers around.

Out: This week

About: Form-and Function can be found on Soundcloud and Facebook, while Family Matters live here.