Rob Cook & Hapkido – LEP033

June 14, 2012 in Singles

Rob Cook & Hapkido

A three-tracker from the secretive Lepento… can see why they’d want to keep this one a bit on the downlow though, cos what we have here are three cheeky reworks of three very well-known vocals. Well, two, anyway…

Forget Me is a surprisingly not-too-cheesy disco-houser with hip-house trimmings… ‘surprisingly’ given that it’s a makeover of Patrice Rushen’s Forget Me Nots, which if asked I’d have said shouldn’t work, but it kinda doesNext up, What You Need pulls off a similar trick with Cheryl Lynn’s To Be Real (well, a similar disco-house trick, but without the rap element this time). And then finally there’s Treat You Right, which reworks the vocal from… er… oh I dunno, some R&B thing.

A more uptempo affair, this latter reminds me a little bit of all the R&B boots that came to dominate the Brummie bassline scene back in the mid-00s… as such I’ve got mixed feelings about it, it kinda makes me smile but it IS a bit cheesy, to be fair.

The other two, though, should serve you well as party-starters on any floor that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Out: This week

About: You can find Lepento on Soundcloud.

Jason Wolfe – Basement Funk EP

June 7, 2012 in Singles

Jason Wolfe Basement Funk EP

“Big jackin’ disco vibes,” is how the one-line email that accompanied the latest from the mysterious Lepento Records describes this one. Which kinda works… though “house like the 00s never happened” would do it even better, cos this is an EP that’ll have anyone who ever wore a shiny shirt, loafers or those stack-heeled black buckskin boots onto the floor at Vague, Moneypennys, Holy City Zoo or Love To Be grinning in nostalgic delight.

So: retro peaktime screamers ahoy! It’s Time is big n’ brassy filter disco in the 1995 Hustler’s Convention/Kadoc/etc vein, while Move On drops what sounds like a cheeky bite from Once In A Lifetime before moving into a very passable impression of a 90s house remix of First Choice. But the pick for me is Basement Funk itself, a no less big but slightly less brash disco-houser that makes sterling use of the B Beat Girls “all right” vocal sample made famous by Size 9’s I’m Ready, among others.

Warning: Playing the Outcross record below will make you look dead cool n’ hip n’ that. Playing this record won’t. But it will make people dance, and speaking as a veteran of the handbag and nu-NRG era myself, I rather like it. So there.

Out: This week

About: You can find Lepento via Soundcloud.

Spinderman – Don’t Stop The Beat/Shake It

June 2, 2012 in Singles

A simple two-tracker here from the very mysterious Leptento… who never include any information of any kind with their promos. In this instance though they did actually respond to my request for a release date*, so at least we can be certain this is, indeed, ‘out this week’.

Shake It is an uptempo, party-oriented house/tech-house floorshaker, with a female voice repeating the title throughout and a neat line in 90s-sounding synths. Don’t Stop The Beat is on a similar tip, with driving, insistent, slightly swung 4/4s, a male voice repeating the title this time and an oompah-loomping bass/synth riff that sits somewhere between electro-swing and a more retrofied, nu-energy/happy house kinda vibe.

There’s nothing groundbreaking going on and it won’t suit the chin-stroking brigade, but these are two solid, energetic cuts for less po-faced floors all the same.

Out: This week

About: I really can’t tell you much about Lepento cos they don’t tell ME anything… they don’t even sign their emails, so I have no idea who it is I speak to there. Not sure what all the cloak n’ dagger bizniss is about but anyway, here’s their Soundcloud page.

*Which is more than some people do, but that’s another story.

Various – Best Of Lepento

February 9, 2012 in Albums

Okay, so still in the grips of the dreaded man-flu right here… it’s hard to summon up the energy or the motivation to do much of anything at all at the mo’ to be honest. But I put this album on today, and it briefly took the blues away for a bit…

Regular readers will know by now that Lepento is the house/techno sister label to the dubstep/UK bass imprints LU10 and Four40. I’ve propped quite a few of their releases on here before now, but even I was taken aback by just how good this ‘best of so far’ comp really is, with nuggets that should suit no matter what style of contemporary house you’re most into.
Cause & Affect’s skippy, garage-y Jeans and Together open proceedings, then Corduroy Mavericks’ House Journey gives us a taste of more commercial/crossover flavours, before we’re back on a (simply gorgeous, soul-infused) garage tip with HapKido’s Because I’m Waiting. HapKido then team up with NAIS for the jazz-inflected houser Boy, before Jayye Jackin’ & Dappa D serve up the bumpin’ and very now-sounding Oh Baby, from where we move into bouncy swing-tech number Ciao Ciao by Jimmy Raz and then the dark, rumbling tech-house of Keva’s All Night Long, with its lyrical dig at boring DJs “playing the same beat all night long”, and then… well, you get the idea, and that’s only half the album covered! The rest is just as good though, trust me.
In a nutshell: 16 quality house tracks in a range of flavas, presented in full-length, unmixed format. What’s not to love?
Out: A whole 8 days ago (30 Jan). I’m so behind the times…
About: You can find Lepento on MySpace and Soundcloud

Corduroy Mavericks – Guilty Please EP

November 28, 2011 in Singles

I’m not sure if the “woo-ooh, any time that you want me, any time that you want me” vocal here is sampled from something famous, but it’s a bit too poppy for my liking. But it’s okay, cos we can skip the Original and jump straight to the Flapjackers Wicked Old School Remix, which is indeed, er, wicked and old school!

Like the original, this mix works hefty chunks of Jomanda’s original rave classic Make My Body Rock, but it all-but-ditches the cheesy main vocal sample (except for some disembodied ‘woo-oohs’) in favour of funny little speech snippets à la S-Express/Coldcut/etc (“let’s play this backwards and see if it sounds better”) and, most importantly, some Jersey-style organs to die for. Underpinned by a full-phat deep house b-line, it’s like a little trip down Fuzzy Memory Lane…
Outa My Head rounds out the package, which is kind of deep house gone mellow Balearic pop… and which then totally sucker-punches you by going into a re-working of a certain similarly-titled Kylie number. Sounds awful on paper I know, but it works surprisingly well.
Predictable, this EP is not. One for the earnest chin-stroking types it possibly is not, either. But highly checkable, it most certainly is. Respect to all involved for their flagrant disregard for rulebooks.
Out: This week
About: This comes on Lepento Records, the housier sister to dubstep labels LU10 and Four40. The link will take you to their Soundcloud page so you can find out more…