Groove Riddim – Jerzeyy Cat Undaground Cutz EP

January 22, 2016 in Singles

Groove Riddim Jerzeyy Cat Undaground Cutz EP Gents & Dandy'sOne of Jerzeyy Boys goes solo as Groove Riddim here.

Y’know I was just on about the wonky, off-kilter Jersey garage Madhouse used to specialise in (see Brad Coleman review, below)? Well that wouldn’t be a bad point of reference for opener here Give It Up, either, what with its reversed synth/organ sounds, busy shuffling beats and heavily filtered male and female soulful vocal bites. Cat’s Theme, too, rides a twitchy, stuttering rhythm, albeit a much more stripped-back one this time, topping same with old-school cascading pianos, a hip-swaying b-line and female “New Jersey!” shouts. And finally Mind Is Free is a slightly smoother, mellower, organ-fuelled jam with driving 4/4s and spoken, self-help-y male vox.

The latter takes the gold for me, but fans of dat raw Jersey shit are strongly advised to check all three!

Out: This week on Traxsource, everywhere else from 5 Feb.

About: This is brought to you by the always reliable Gents & Dandy’s – find ’em on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Deejay Astral AKA Palace – Deejay Astral EP

December 11, 2015 in Singles

Deejay Astral Deejay Astral EP W&O Street TracksA pleasing variety of styles on this three-tracker from W&O Street Tracks and the young Romford producer known as Palace, who’s as of now adopting a new alias, Deejay Astral.

Phantasy is a sparse, throbbing slice of the deepest garage, its pounding, muted 4/4s and echoing organ stabs topped with a full female jazz vocal. Junction takes us into darker territory with its ominous speed garage b-line and ghostly cut-up fem vox, while closer Zen is a stripped, echoing bass beast topped with ethereal keys and male R&B “I don’t wanna lose your love” vox, that should appeal to older and younger heads alike.

Out: This week

About: W&O Street Tracks is headed up by Waze & Odyssey, and this is their 15th release. You can find them on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Jason Mitchell – Yet Not I

December 11, 2015 in Singles

Jason Mitchell Yet Not I DeepWit RecordingsMore deep, garage-y house vibes on this latest from Denmark’s DeepWit Recordings.

Yet Not I itself, in its Original form, is a percussion- and keys-driven workout that should work equally well in the warm-up or in the wee small hours, with the vocal – a man’s voice repeating the title – limited to the track’s mid-section. The La Rose Remix is a deeper, warmer, floatier pass with the vocal applied even more sparingly and pitched up. The other original cut is Shimmy, a funk-infused deep house dancefloor stomper with soaring synth-strings and organs to die for, while Sagia provides a heavier, dubbier refix for later play.

All four are excellent but if pushed it’s the sparser, more Jersey-ish originals that get my vote.

Out: This week

About: Find DeepWit  herehere and here.

John Randle – Silk EP

November 7, 2015 in Singles

John Randle Silk EP Gents & Dandy'sAnd speaking of Belgium, Gents & Dandy’s – formerly of San Diego – appear to have moved there, if their Soundcloud page is to be believed. But what hasn’t changed is the sheer quality of the trad-style house/garage grooves they’re putting out.

Four tracks make up the Silk EP. The title track is all crisp, skippy beats, synth/organ sweeps, raw bass and cut-up fem vox. Lift Me could have beamed straight in from Newark (possibly via Rome, cos the Italians used to love this kinda tackle) circa 1991, Something About You is a tuffer, more driving affair with yet more killer NJ organs and a looping “something about you baby” female vocal, and finally Stand Up [VIP Mix] ends the EP on a proper bouncy, peaktime note, albeit we’re still in very traditional mode here too.

A record that’ll make the real garageheads very happy indeed.

Out: This week (on general release)

About: Find Gents & Dandy’s here, here and here. Or in Antwerp, apparently.

**UPDATE 12/11: It turns out I’m an idiot. Bram at G&D got in touch to explain that the label’s always been based in Antwerp… it’s just that the address on mail-outs was that of their SF-based PR peeps. So now you know.

Roland Nights – Chicago Soul EP

October 17, 2015 in Singles

Roland Nights Chicago Soul EP PIV RecordsA treat for the more traditionally inclined here as Roland Nights serves up some sumptuous deep house/US garage bizniss for brand new Dutch label PIV Records.

Chicago Soul itself takes fat, ass-swayin’ bass, muted kicks and crisp hi-hats, and tops them with Jersey-style organ stabs and soulful male “hurting… yes I am” vox, the result being a proper little dancefloor bumper that should work anywhere from Smokescreen to Soul Heaven. Freydel & Osaka give us a remix that’s a bit more ‘now’ and Berlin-y; it’ll work for a lot of jocks for sure, but the original’s the one for me. Elsewhere on the EP, Play It Down is raw, tracky NJ shizzle straight outta 1993 while Recall treads a similar path but heads just a little deeper; and both are just as good as the title cut.

You can generally rely on Roland to come up with goods and he doesn’t disappoint here. And for a label’s first-ever release, this is really quite ridiculously good – now go seek!

Out: This week

About: You can find PIV Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website. This is PIV001.

Various – Blowback EP

September 19, 2015 in Singles

Blowback EP Ranura RecordsLet’s steer the good ship TIWWD into housier waters now, starting with some nice deep, garage-tinged vibes on this four-track EP from Criminal Hype’s sister label Ranura Records.

Jon Billick & Strange Fervor are up first with House Is Not A Home, a midpaced affair with shuffling beats, some lovely jazzy, lounge-y piano licks and sweet, treated fem vox. Harrison BDP gives us That’s All, a deep, mellow late-night affair underpinned by deceptively pacey beats and topped with wailing female vocal bites. Groove Riddim’s Once Upon A Time rides stuttering drums with killer NJ organs, and then finally Andrew Hosey’s Late Night Jam has more New Jersey-style keys, a fat walking bassline and pads a-gogo.

A very strong EP all round for the trad lovers, but JB&SF and Groove Riddim lead by a nose.

Out: This week

About: Find Ranura Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Ed Nine & Bai-ee – Heavy House EP

September 12, 2015 in Singles

Ed Nine Bai-ee Heavy House audioJazz MusicVarious flavas of classic-style house/garage grooves on this split EP from Chicago-based audioJazz Music.

Ed Nine is up first with Nothing Technical, a slice of raw NJ garage at its best, with jazzy piano chords underpinned by ruff, ruggged beats. Bai-ee’s Palease (sic) follows, another deep, garage-leaning cut with a fat bassline, female “woohs” and a blissy, 5am kinda feel overall. Ed Nine’s 33 seems to have a ‘0’ missing, being a nice squelchy slice of retro acid, while completing the package is Bai-ee’s Lookin, a slightly more contemporary-style cut that marries a dark, throbbing bassline to old-skool organ chords and cut-up fem vox.

Wicked stuff all round but if pushed Nothing Technical just nudges it, I think.

Out: This week

About: You can find audioJazz Music on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Billy Shane – Hold Yor Heart EP

August 3, 2015 in Singles

Billy Shane Hold Yor Heart Falk RecsA nicely pigeonhole-defying two-tracker here from Bristol’s Falk Recs and Brooklyn producer Billy Shane.

On the A, Hold Yor Heart shows influences from both Detroit techno and classic NY/NJ garage, what with its pulsing synth strings, urgent kicks and chopped-up diva vocals. But from Big Fun to Blackwater, there’ve always been records with feet in both camps… more surprising is the B-side’s 5.1, which starts out with fierce, dark techno drums but then brings in sprightly jazz organs and, eventually, more of those lovely diva vocal snips.

Or to put it another way… whether you consider yourself a devotee of house, garage OR techno – or any combination thereof – you need to check for this one immediately.

Out: This week

About: Find Falk Recs on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

The Bassment – On The Road EP

July 20, 2015 in Singles

The Bassment On The Road EP Nite GroovesMore fine deep house/garage bizniss on this three-tracker from Nite Grooves.

Forever is up first, quite a chunky, bouncy cut that’s got strong garage leanings, what with its parping organ chords, ringing vibes/chimes and deep, spoken male vox. The pacier Glide Away takes us into slightly techier pastures, with a throbbing bassline and snatches of hip-house vox, while finally On The Road itself marries raw, thumping kicks and jazzy keys in the finest New Jersey tradition.

Excellent work all round – and a release that’ll delight long-term fans of the label – but On The Road wins it by a nose. Which’ll be why they made it the title track I guess!

Out: This week

About: Find Nite Grooves, and the rest of the King Street label family, here, here and here.

Marc Cotterell – Vibe The Musik EP

June 20, 2015 in Singles

Marc Cotterell Vibe The Musik EP Gents & Dandy'sPlastik People boss Marc Cotterell comes to Gents & Dandy’s with a limited-edition vinyl release here and if that’s not a match made in garage-y deep house heaven I don’t know what is!

The original of Vibe The Musik itself has that raw underground Jersey sound well and truly nailed, being all tuff, slammin’ kicks, parping organs and breathy chopped vox, while the Four Walls Night Remix is a smoother ride that brings out the track’s jazzier qualities. The other original track is I Wanna Dance, which again comes in two flavas: the squelchy, rumpshakin’ original and a slinkier refix from Khillaudio, both recognisable from a man’s voice intoning the title.

If that place where (proper) deep house and garage collide is where your musical head’s at, I really can’t recommend this one strongly enough.

Out: This week

About: You can find Gents & Dandy’s here, here and here.