Some MORE albums, quickly…

November 11, 2015 in Albums

I’m on a roll with this ‘potted album reviews’ malarkey so here’s some that are dropping THIS week…

Microscapes Vol II Buena Onda RecordsVarious – Microscapes Vol II
A VA comp here from a label who’ve never featured on TIWWD before – France’s Buena Onda Records. Don’t know much about them, but based on this evidence I’d like to find out more! Across Microscapes Vol II‘s 12 tracks you’ll find various flavas of house music, starting out seriously deep (Ekstendia’s Luana is a killer) then progressing into more uptempo (but still pretty deep, in the overall scheme of things) tech/prog territory as the album progresses, all coming from eight artists in total of whom only a couple of names (Knip, Gurwan) are even vaguely familiar. File under ‘unexpected pleasures’.

Golden Lounge 3 Clubstar RecordsVarious – Golden Lounge Vol 3
Here, long-running German label Clubstar present 29 tracks of nosebleed techno and 240bpm nu-gabba… nah, not really. Well, the 29 tracks bit is right… beyond that, expect neo-soul, bruk beat, ultra-chilled house, drifty Balearica, lo-fi hip-hop and other assorted horizontal grooves, coming from a mixture of big names (Jose Padilla, Andy Caldwell, The Rurals, DJ Pippi) and, er, some not quite so big names. The whole thing’s compiled and mixed by label boss Henri Kohn, with CD1 a bit more beat-oriented and CD2 taking us deeper into the sofa-surfin’ zone.

Nu Breeds 10 Spring TubeVarious – Nu Breeds 10
It seems like a little while since Spring Tube had any TIWWD love so let’s rectify that now with a quick peek at the latest in their long-running series of VA compilations. As is par for the Nu Breeds course, you won’t find any big names here… what you WILL find is plenty of smooth, classy electronic tuneage. Spring Tube’s natural musical stomping ground is that area where deep and progressive house collide, and that’s amply reflected in this set, with Moonwatch3r’s Dreams and Nio March’s Delight Me particularly worthy of your attention.

Arara – Strike Three

September 22, 2015 in Singles

Arara Strike Three EP Submarine VibesMore leftfield/experimental deep grooves now courtesy of Bosnia’s Submarine Vibes label.

Three mixes of Strike Three to choose from. The original’s a sort of wonky, future lounge thang that’s one-part Roy Ayers, one-part Yellow Magic Orchestra and one-part The Man With The Red Face. Actually, that’s a pretty rubbish description so you’ll just have to hear it for yourself, which  – in a rare instance of me being arsed – you can do below.

The man like Yigit Atilla serves up a much smoother deep house remix, while German producer Wanderlust’s mix sits somewhere between the two and brings the tinkling pianos to the fore. Atilla’s rub would be the obvious choice for dancefloor play, but the original deserves props too, simply for not sounding like much anything else that’s around right now.

Out: This week

About: You can find Submarine Vibes here, here and here.

Rick Wade – Sweet Life EP

February 2, 2014 in Singles

Rick Wade Sweet Life EP FINA RecordsFor those who know their house history, Detroit veteran and Harmonie Park boss Rick Wade will need no introduction; for the current generation of club kids, let’s just say that this man has been making deep house music since you were in nappies.And that experience shows on this finely crafted release for UK label FINA Records.

The title track in its original form is a lounge-y, disco-y, beatdown-y kinda thang with rich, sweeping strings and unhurried, shuffling percussion. Mr Beatnik’s remix beefs up the drums a notch or two but the standout rub for me is the digital-only Tom Taylor & Simon Morell Mix, which adds a spoken female vocal and filter disco elements and rides skippy, garage-y beats. Elsewhere, The Chateau is, despite the French title/vocal, a Latin-sounding affair that to these ears is reminiscent of a modern-day Gibson Brothers, while Jazz Militia is actually my pick of the whole EP – a much more straight-up deep house dancefloor jam with that essential techy Detroitian twist.

20+ years in the game and still going strong… respect is due!

Out: This week

About: You can find FINA Records, set up in 2011 by Simon Morell, Matt Long and Ralph ‘2020’ Lawson, on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Helder Teixeira – Music Cafe EP

December 23, 2013 in Singles

Helder Teixeira Music Cafe EP Sofa LoungeI said something the other day about Share Records having hit a rich run of form lately… now here comes the label main man himself.

Three tracks make up the EP, with deep, jazzy grooves being the general order of the day. Fazer Feliz is an unhurried, lounge-y cut with more mournful trumpets (see below) and occasional melancholic wails from an unnamed chanteuse. Feel So Good Tonight is a little livelier and would play well on the soulful house floors, and then bringing the EP to a close is Jazz & Fashion, another slinky, lounge-y number with lots of layers of live instrumentation.

Fans of Restless Soul, Jazzanova etc would definitely be well-advised to check this one, but Fazer Feliz in particular could have broader appeal beyond just the jazz beards.

Out: This week on Traxsource, everywhere else from 6 Jan.

About: This comes not on Share Records but on spin-off label Sofa Lounge – find ’em on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Situation – Visions

November 17, 2013 in Singles

Situation Visions No Static RecordingsiOne for the nu/cosmic disco fans here…

Five mixes to choose from. The Original a Balearic-ish affair, with Italo synths, a sweet and quite poppy female vocal and just the tiniest hint of acid. Vampire Disco’s brace of remixes bring the vocal further to the fore, while nu-disco fave Ilya Santana goes for a more laidback, druggy kinda feel. But it’s Bitter Suite’s dreamy lounge mix that’s doing it best for me, wherein Visions is transformed a proper blissed-out gem…

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by No Static Recordings, who you can find on Facebook, on Soundcloud or at their own website.

Dysdisco – Shallow EP

September 17, 2013 in Singles

Dysdisco Shallow EP Sofa LoungeLet’s kick off on a mellow tip tonight with this inappropriately named three-track EP on Portugal’s Sofa Lounge. Inappropriately named because we’re not talking ‘shallow’ so much as very, very deep…

In fact, the three tracks here could just as easily be filed under jazz-funk or lounge music as they can deep house – Eternal with its fluttering George Benson-esque guitars especially. But if you do like your deep house on the smooth n’ soulful side – if, for instance, you’re a fan of the likes of Harley & Muscle or Louis Benedetti – then this EP will serve you nicely. Not much more to say, really.

Out: This week on Traxsource, everywhere else from 1 October.

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

Blue Soul ft. Marissa Guzman – Summer Trip

July 1, 2013 in Singles

Blue Soul Summer Trip Roam RecordingsThe sun’s been shining today here in Bristol so it seems appropriate to kick off tonight’s reviews with this…

As the name implies, summery grooves are the order of the day on an Original track that blends deep house, nu-disco and lounge influences. Feather River’s Floating Dub leans more heavily towards the house side of the equation, as does Belden’s Acid Mix which brings the track’s acid elements (very subtle in the original) to the fore, while disco don Ray Mang supplies no fewer than three mixes, all of which ride the same shuffling rhythm.

Mang’s Extended Remix Vocal nudges it for me, if pushed, but to be honest it doesn’t really matter too much which mix you plump for – you’ll end up with some nice chilled grooves either way.

Out: This week

About: This comes on San Francisco’s Roam Recordings, who you can find on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Joss Moog – Late Nite Beats Vol 1

April 2, 2013 in Singles

Joss Moog Late Nite Beats Vol 1 RobsoulWhile we’re on a slightly left-of-centre tip, here’s France’s Joss Moog with a four-track taster for his forthcoming album Late Nite Beats, which will be out in June.

The title track Late Nite Beats itself is a shufflin’ jazz-house instrumental, while Lost Keys is an organ- and hand percussion-fuelled NJ garage jam with multitracked easy listenin’ vox (!). So far, so groovy, but even more esoteric pleasures await on Sweet Mary and Big Dudes. The latter is Philly soul for the post-disco-house generation, while the former is a mellow, brass-driven funk joint that, but for the looping, cut-up production style, could have been beamed in direct from 1976.

An eclectic package for sure, but the quality’s high whichever style Mr Moog’s turning his hand to – which surely promises good things for the long-player…

Out: This week

About: This comes on Phil Weeks’ Robsoul label, who you can find on Facebook or at their own website.

Venus In Motion – Crazy People

April 2, 2013 in Singles

Venus In Motion Crazy People SeamlessAccording to the hype sheet, Venus In Motion is “defining a new concept in electronic chill-out music”. Not sure I’d go that far, but Crazy People is certainly an unusual record… doubly so when you consider that it comes on Seamless, from house DJ/producer Angel Johnson.

Driven along by skeetering jazz drums, live double-bass and gently tinkling keyboards, the Original Version of the track comes on like Riders On The Storm repurposed for the jazz-dance sessions at Southport, and features a soulful vocal from one Jack Kenworthy telling the story of dysfunctional relationship. Max Sedgley then drops the jazz drums and ivories in favour of a big, squelchy bassline on a remix that you could imagine going down a storm with festival crowds this summer.

It’s the off-kilter, ‘dark lounge’ vibes of the Original that’ve earned this is its place here today, though.

Out: This week

About: You can find the Seamless empire here.

PS: Sorry there were no reviews yesterday… it was my birthday and I gave myself the day off

Various – DeepWit Collections

February 22, 2013 in Albums

DeepWit Collections Some seriously, SERIOUSLY deep vibes here from Denmark’s DeepWit, as they serve up a limited-edition collection of 10 laidback cuts that they’re describing as “deep house lounge”. Ambient house would be a more old-fashioned way of putting it; either way, the point is that solid (if subdued) 4/4 kicks permeate throughout, which means the 10 cuts on offer (nine of them exclusive to this album), while certainly tending towards the downtempo and mellifluous, never drift into mere arty abstraction.

Andre Detoxx’s Over The Hill opens proceedings, with mournful jazz sax wails and a breathy female voice reciting what appear to be parts of an equation (“big R over little r… divided by… parentheses…”) over a backing consisting of understated 122bpm percussion and live-sounding double bass. Rolling along at the same tempo, David Oniani’s The Journey is all warm piano chords, the gentlest of strings and relaxation tape vocals, before Dallomo’s Floor 12, comprised primarily of long, lingering pads and luxuriant, melted-chocolate bass drops down to 116bpm… and so it goes on, I’m sure you get the idea!

With tracks from familiar names like Harold Heath, Alfred R and Max Volkholz, plus a bunch of newer names, if your late-night sofa-surfing sessions need a fresh soundtrack this is where to head – it’s the aural equivalent of a nice hot bath. With Radox and candles and everything.

Out: This week

About: You can find DeepWit here but as this is a super-limited release, rather than me giving you the usual social media links you might just wanna head straight over to Bandcamp to snap up your copy.