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.

Andy Compton – Bristol Boogie

November 1, 2015 in Albums

Andy Compton Bristol Boogie Peng RecordsIn which Andy Compton of Rurals/Peng fame takes time out from the Afro-house and straight-up soul he’s been pursuing of late, and delivers a full-length tribute to 80s boogie.

And it works… and it doesn’t. Musically Andy’s nailed the sound, all right: squelchy analogue synths and syndrums abound! And there are tracks that bring those early 80s memories flooding back – the Katie Leone-vocalled Soldier, for instance. Shut your eyes and it’s only too easy to imagine her singing this on a 1982 TOTP, dressed no doubt in a pink nylon twinset and matching feather fascinator! The electro tinges to I Wanna Be Free, similarly, will bring a smile to the faces of those in whose misspent youths Kangol hats and Adidas tracksuits featured heavily.

Elsewhere, though, old habits die hard, and we’re more in that territory where neo-soul and soulful house collide – you could have told me the Ladybird-vocalled Give A Little, for instance, was a mid-00s Om release and I’d have believed you. And Brokeback Soul, while undoubtedly one of the album’s highlights, is surely better classified as jazz-funk/fusion than boogie, albeit if Andy wants to hit me around the head shouting “you hair-splitting, nit-picking git!” for saying that next time I see him, he’ll be quite within his rights.

If it’s out-and-out retro boogie thrills AND NOTHING ELSE you’re after, then, you may not find this quite as satisfying as you hoped. But if you’re happy just with an hour of quality soul-infused non-house bizniss, step right this way.

Out: This week

About: This comes of course on Andy’s own Peng Records, who you can find here, here and here.