Various – Hidden Gems From The Vault

September 27, 2014 in Singles

Hidden Gems From The Vault 22 DigitWe stay in techy pastures now with an EP I’ve actually told you about before…  it was supposed to come out last October but some, er, ‘difficulties’ meant it was never actually released.

Well, now it’s back, and I promised I’d let you know. Not a lot has really changed since the last time I reviewed it, funnily enough, so suffice to say you’ll want to head for the Tom Ellis and Midicult tracks if it’s deeper shades of techno/tech-house you’re after, while those of a housier persuasion should check for (label boss) William Welt’s Vibe & Soal and Ludowick’s Get It Off (as remixed by Moodymanc, no less).

Out: This week

About: This STILL comes on 22 Digit Records, who you can find on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Moodymanc – Well Cut 001

June 14, 2014 in Singles

Moodyman WCR001 Well Cut RecordsQ: What’s more exciting than a new house label? A: A new vinyl-only label set up by Danny Ward, AKA Dubble D/Moodymanc, deep house legend and officially one of The Nicest Blokes In Dance Music (trust). Well Cut Records is the name of the label, as if you haven’t guessed, and I’ll let Danny himself explain the ethos behind it:

“The 12″ release is 180g vinyl. The sleeve design is by an incredibly brilliant artist (who has to remain anonymous for now!) with attributes which render the release in perpetual debt… I’m really hoping it appeals to people who like records! Why? Because nobody seems to be willing to put their money where their mouth is with vinyl releases these days…. it’s nice to have something hand stamped or on coloured vinyl but let’s face it, it’s all about rinsing the buyer as much as possible. After 20-odd years of releasing records I just wanted to put out some records where I didn’t feel that any corners were being cut, or any restrictions were put on the music.”

And speaking of the music, four tracks make up this first EP. Tarriff is a laidback affair with a (very) jazzy, lounge-y feel, Minor Mad is a funk-fuelled deep houser with orchestral string sweeps and a soulful male “comfort me through all this madness” vocal (possibly a Billy Preston or John Legend sample but I’m not 100%). The B-side, meanwhile, is taken up by two tracks simply labelled Lenny Middles V Moo (so not sure if that’s the artist name or the track title), the first a ker-razy melange of carnival rhythms, crowd noise, muted acid and rich piano chords, the second a more straightforward, disco-tinged deep house groove.

Minor Mad is the standout for yours truly but the quality standard is high throughout, as you’d expect.

Out: This week

About: You can find Well Cut on Soundcloud and Facebook.

**CORRECTION 15/6: My bad! This is going to be available digitally as well, though only in limited outlets

Dale Howard – Prime Cuts 01

April 6, 2013 in Albums

Dale Howard Prime Cuts 01 Lost My DogJust over a week ago, I described the sampler EP for this album as “superb stuff that suggests the album will really be something special”. Well, whaddya know… it turns out I was right. Something special this is indeed.

Prime Cuts 01 is the first in a new mix comp series from Lost My Dog that sees Mr Howard raiding the label’s back catalogue for tasty musical treats, and throwing in a few of his own productions for good measure. So the artist roster here is mostly made up of very familiar names – Pete Dafeet, YSE, Dominic Martin, Demarkus Lewis, as well as Howard himself – while the likes of Giom, Huxley, Milton Jackson and Moodymanc also crop up on remix duties. Combine a line-up like that, with Dale’s by now well-established penchant for those funked-up environs where deep house and garage collide, and you have the recipe for a 12-track journey into slinky, sexy dancefloor bump n’ grind that’s pretty much unmissable.

Picking highlights is almost superfluous, cos this rocks from start to finish… but YSE feat Frank H Carter III’s soul-dripping Magic In Your Eyes is one track the USG heads will fiend for while Domsko feat Astral T’s Hard Yards (Dub) will satisfy those in search of big, throbbing 4am jackery. So everyone’s happy, then.

Out: This week

About: Find Lost My Dog on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

95 North – Let Yourself Go [Remixes]

February 23, 2013 in Singles

95 North Let Yourself Go Danse ClubSomething of ‘back to the old school’ theme linking today’s reviews, starting with this re-issue of 95 North’s classic Let Yourself Go.

First out on Kult Records in 1995, it now gets a new lease of life courtesy of Danse Club Records, who specialise in 90s US house reissues. The pounding dark garage original’s included, as is the original, deeper Let Yourself Go Mix, but those two now come accompanied by new mixes from the cream of today’s production crop – Matt Tolfrey, Moodymanc (with two rubs) and Brodanse, AKA Danse Club label bosses Scott & Austen Smart.

That original Let Yourself Go Mix is still sounding pretty darn special, but with talent like that on the remix, mixing up classic garage sounds with more contemporary deep house vibes, you can’t go wrong really – Tolfrey and Brodanse’s rubs share top honours for me I think (sorry Danny!) but it’s a pretty darn special package all round.

Out: This week

About: You can find Danse Club on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website. They’re based in London and this is the third release in their ‘Gold Series’ – every one a winner to date.

Nohijo – Do It All Night

January 13, 2013 in Singles

Nohijo Do It All Night Oh So CoyIn what’s turning out to be something of an inadvertent ‘European special’ today, we move across the border from Germany into Switzerland now, for the latest from Oh So Coy Recordings.

 Do It All Night is centred around that ‘house music all night long’ vocal sample that I personally know from Gino Latino’s Welcome, though I have a feeling Welcome probably sampled it from something older. But hey, you can’t spot every single train in the yard, what can I tell ya? Mix-wise, there are six to choose from: the Original has a proper ‘traditional-style deep house’ vibe, the Late Night Mix drops down to an almost slo-mo pace and Yunome provides a more weirdy-wobbly, afterhours-style pass, while the deep house legend that is Danny ‘Moodymanc’ Ward supplies no fewer than three rubs,  all with a slightly more polished feel.

The Original Mix is the one for me here but these are some quality deep house vibes whichever mix you go for.

Out: This week

About: Oh So Coy can be found at their own website or on Soundcloud. Oh, and this is their 50th release, I’ve just noticed, so happy anniversary Swiss chaps!

Various – One Year Of Frole

December 30, 2012 in Albums

One Year Of Frole Frole Records

A couple of weeks back I reviewed a single by Desos on Frole Records, which was the first time I’d heard of the Italian label. Following that review they very kindly sent me this compilation, which is being released to mark them reaching their first birthday.

I’m very glad they did, too, because this rocks. “Proper deep house in various shades” is the basic story, supplied mostly by artists you probably haven’t heard of (unless you’re more on-the-ball than I am, of course!) but with some familiar names – Kevin Griffiths, Moodymanc, Hector Couto, The Echonomist – cropping up on remix duties. Ellroy’s Everything, which does strange, downtuned things to Whitney’s Love Will Save The Day vocal, is one highlight; Echonomist’s early 90s-tastic refix of Kevin McCallister’s Swing Piomb is another, LDF vs Lostrocket’s Loose In Mind yet another. Oh, and Gastek’s laidback, organ-flecked Grey Crystal another.

You getting the idea yet? When I say “this rocks,” I mean it rocks from start to finish. Go seek.

Out: This week

About: You can find Frole Records at their website, on Facebook or on Soundcloud.

Pete Dafeet – Family Affair

November 23, 2012 in Albums

Pete Dafeet Family Affair Lost My Dog

It’s been a long day so I’m keep this kinda quick. Some facts:

1. Lost My Dog is without a doubt one of the UK’s best-loved deep house labels
2. Pete Dafeet is one of the three jolly affable fellows that own and run it, and also one of the label’s most prolific producers.
3. Here, he seamlessly blends together 14 of his contributions – taking in some forthcoming bullets as well as lots of previously unreleased mixes of back catalogue shizzle – inna superstar DJ in the area mashin’ it up throwin’ it down and rockin’ down the house kinda stylee.
4. Or, you can buy it digitally, in which case you get 18 tracks in all their full-length glory, without the above turntable frolics. In case you fancied doing some of that yourself. I think they’ve still got some of the three vinyl samplers, too.
5. The mixes come from, among others, Fred Everything, Demarkus Lewis, Moodymanc, Pezzner, Nacho Marco and Giom.
6. It’s every bit as groovy and floor-friendly as you want it to be. Hurrah!

Out: This week (as an album – the vinyl samplers have been knocking around for a bit)

About: You can find Lost My Dog at their website, or on Facebook or Soundcloud.

Poussez – Sandcastle Society

March 29, 2012 in Singles

A five-tracker here from Poussez, taking in mixture of deep house and slo-mo/downtempo styles… and featuring as disturbing a sleeve as you’re likely to see all month. Brrrr.

Sandcastle Society itself opens proceedings, a slow-moving deep houser with a heavily reverbed female vocal, throbbing b-line and plenty of dreamy atmos. Hairy Jaw drops the tempo yet further, being a low-slung groove with a spoken (male, French) vocal and a vaguely Balearic feel to the percussion – one for those lazy beach/poolside sessions. Hairy Jaw then gets dragged to the dancefloor by a brace of dubs from the ever-prolific Danny Ward AKA Moodymanc, his Close Shave Dub being my pick from the EP as a whole, before finally the rather peculiarly-titled Trinity Remix [Original Mix], which again is downtempo and somewhat filmic, closes out the EP.

Good stuff as ever from Jafar and Maxime. Apart from the cover, which is just wrong.
Out: This week
About: Poussez run their own label Artizan Music, but this one comes on Al Bradley’s 3am Recordings, the latest label to join an illustrious list the lads have recorded for that also includes Toolroom, Neurotraxx Deluxe, Universal Vibes and Hudd Traxx.
For more info on Poussez, see their own website which features a handy player with snippets of almost everything they’ve done!

Pete Da Feet – Stutter

February 21, 2012 in Singles

Kinda tired right now, so let’s kick off the week’s reviews with an easy one: the latest from Lost My Dog, which comes from label co-owner Pete Da Feet.

Why’s it an easy one? Cos you KNOW Mr Da Feet, which frankly I think might not be his real name, can always be relied on for some good deep house grooves… and so it is here. Stutter is a midtempo affair with the kind of vintage Chi-town/NYC influences that are so en vogue right now; a brace of somewhat livelier, more percussion-filled rerubs from the equally dependable Moodymanc merely seal the deal.
Add in bonus cuts Rush – a proper stomper marrying hard, techy beats with warmer tops – and the more stripped-down Peace La Paz, and what you have is another highly checkable EP from an always checkable label. Nuff said!
Out: Yesterday (20 Feb)
About: The Middlesborough-and-London based crew have been looking for their wayward canine for a whole eight years now, and as such you probably don’t need me to tell you much more about them. But here’s their website and Facebook anyway.

Moodymanc – Father EP

December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

A predictably high-quality release here from Moodymanc, AKA Danny ‘Dubble D’ Ward of 2020Soundsystem fame.

Father itself is a shimmering, midtempo house cut with spoken vocals – whose source is unclear, but which are in the vein of the dub poetry of Mutabaruka or LKJ – and a few E2/E4-like sprinkles. Proper deepness! It’s ‘proper lush’ as they say down here in the west country, but the more dancefloor remix from Detroit hero Rick Wade is possibly even better, his Daddy’s Disco Mix doing what it says on the tin with considerable aplomb.
On the B, Sugar Hill is a slightly techier number, with another spoken vocal – “Cocaine, Sugarhill/New York City, Sugarhill/the music is black, Sugarhill”, tuff, bouncy beats and some ker-razy freeform jazz saxophony. It comes accompanied by a DJ Tool mix that’s a whole six minutes long.
Like I said… high-quality stuff indeed. The EP, I mean, not the cocaine.
Out: This week
About: This is the fourth release from new London-based label Landed Records (click the link for their website or find ’em on Facebook).