Kool Vibe – Basics EP

May 1, 2016 in Singles

Kool Vibe Basics EP Kool Vibe RecordsParisian producer Kool Vibe serves up a four-tracker on his own KV Records here that’ll appeal to anyone who’s fiending for those bumpin’ NY ‘house n’ garage’ vibes of yore.

Back To The Real is up first, which is all throbbing organ stabs, skippy beats and cut-up diva vox. Basics itself rides more straight-up 4/4s with stabby chords and cut-up male vox this time, Sleazy Joint (Touch It, Suck It) takes us into the realms of raw, 4am-friendly dark garage c.1995 and finally Tribute is one-part early Kerri Chandler to one-part St Germain, roughly speaking.

File under ‘proper’ 🙂

Out: This week

About: You can find KV Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Various – Thank God House Music Is Back Vol 3

October 5, 2015 in Albums

Thank God House Music Is Back Vol 3 Karmic Power RecordsVolumes 1 and 2 in this series from Lenny Fontana’s Karmic Power Records were EPs… with ADE on the horizon, though, they’re cranking things up a notch, and Volume 3 features a whopping 20 tracks, plus a mixed version from Rich More that clocks in just under the two-hour mark. Can’t fault ’em on the VFM front, then!

With 20 tracks on offer you’d expect a fair bit of variety, and you get it, with tracks ranging from the stomping, organ-fuelled strut of Lenny Fontana & Marcus Knight ft Carole Sylvan’s I’m So High (as remixed by Lissat & Voltax), with its full-blown hands-in-the-air chorus, to the deeper, soul-tinged grooves of DJ Dextro & MJ White ft Bruno Soares’ Keep On Pushing, to more commercial numbers like Daniele Sexx ft Paula P’Cay’s Lift Me Up. As such, I’m not sure how many buyers are going to be feeling every track here… but equally, it’s hard to see many house jocks not finding something to play. My personal standout for instance is D’Luxe’s Bitch Please!, which combines two of my favourite things – a big M1 line and mid-90s ‘bitch house’* sweary female vocals. But you’ll have your own favourites I’m sure.

Proof that post-this, post-that and post-every other sodding thing, trad-style house is still going strong in 2015 if you know where to look!

Out: Now

About: Find Karmic Power Records here, here and here.

*Yes, ‘bitch house’ was a thing. Only for about six months in the mid-90s, admittedly, but I quite liked it.

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.

Various – Thank God House Music Is Back Vol 1

August 1, 2015 in Singles

Thank God House Music Is Back Vol 1 Karmic Power RecordsJust occasionally I promise to review a record, then when it comes time to do it I’m not sure why I made that promise. So it was with this four-track VA ep from Lenny Fontana’s Karmic Power Records… at first.

Because Another Excuse’s filter disco jam Want Your Love is okay, but wouldn’t have got this onto the ‘promised’ list on its own. Lenny Fontana pres Dee Wiz and Universal Sounds Band’s Music Makes You Wanna is better, a lively, jazz- and Afro-tinged cut that’ll have the soulful floors going crazy, but I’m not so much about the soulful vibes these days so that wasn’t it. And I’m not feeling House Of Virus & Marshall Jefferson ft Soliaris’s house/EDM crossover thing Believe In Love at all. There’s no excuse for trance synths, even if it has got Marshall Jefferson on it.

But THEN, you see, we get to Loris Conte’s Iron City and I know exactly why this was on the promised list. With no-nonsense clappy beats, an absolute BEAST of an organ bassline and – no, that’s about it actually, bar some sax-like drones later on – this is the kind of heads-down 4am strobelit pass-the-poppers workout that dancefloors were invented for. File under ‘the bomb’.

Out: This week

About: You can find Karmic Power herehere and here.

Tommy Bones – Love & War EP

July 5, 2015 in Singles

Tommy Bones Love & War EP Strictly RhythmNYC veteran Tommy Bones serves up a three-tracker for the seemingly immortal Strictly Rhythm here.

Love & War itself is quite a dark house groove, built to power busy but more discerning house floors on through till dawn. Something of an E-Smoove’ish feel to this one, particularly in the off-kilter pianos… but it’s actually bonus cut Get Down (yes, another one – see below) that’s the standout for me. In its original form, Get Down tops classic NY-style house drums with a bouncy bass hook, female “up, down, up, down” vox and sax parps, as well as backing diva wails. It’s ‘trad-leaning’ for sure, yet sounds thoroughly contemporary at the same time – and much the same can be said for the bigger and even bouncier Remix, where the M1 comes out to play.

Out: This week

About: Find Strictly Rhythm here, here and here.

Mennie – Callin’ EP

June 23, 2015 in Singles

Mennie Callin' EP Flashmob LTDItalian DJ/producer Mennie serves up a three-tracker for Flashmob LTD here that wears its vintage NYC house influences proudly on its sleeve.

In fact, the title track even uses cheeky vocal bites from C&C Music Factory’s classic Pride (A Deeper Love) – a move I believe the young folks of today would call “well bait” – with said vocal bites sitting atop a funktified bassline, Rhodes chords and shufflin’ beats. Elsewhere on the EP, Deep N’ Side is a (perhaps unsurprisingly) deeper groove with a classic Jersey feel but enough bottom-end welly to sound thoroughly contemporary, while Edgin’ Edge is a slightly more esoteric affair, marrying sparse but quite slammin’ percussion to meandering, jazzy keys.

Classic house sounds brought right up-to-date… what’s not to like?

Out: This week

About: You can find Flashmob Records (including Flashmob LTD) on Facebook or at their own website.

David Morales feat Quentin Harris & Hector Romero – The Xperience

March 15, 2015 in Singles

David Morales The Xperience Def MixThree heavyweights of the New York house scene team up here.

Two mixes of The Xperience to choose from. The Demo Mix is a slowly evolving, somewhat epic affair, near-instrumental and led by tribal percussion that comes topped with a soaring strings, a nagging synth riff and some ker-razy (Hammond? Farfisa?) organ noodles. The NYC Mix, meanwhile, features added hand percussion from Steve Thornton but sadly features a little less of that ace wigged-out organ.

Clocking in at 7:47 and 9:16 respectively, either will be best served when the floor’s energetic and truly locked-on.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by the legendary Def Mix, who you can find here, here and here.

Alex Gori – Blur

November 26, 2014 in Singles

Alex Gori Blur DeeperfectYou were either around [and into US house] in the 90s, or you weren’t. If you weren’t, and younger TIWWD visitors might not have been, then the short-lived phenomenon of ‘bitch house’ – with shouty, sweary divas and drag queens venting their wrath on the mic – might have passed you by, save perhaps for one or two more obvious examples like Candy Girls or Get Your Hands Off My Man. But it happened. Mostly came outta NYC, and was huge in gay clubs oop north here in the UK.

Anyway, it clearly didn’t pass Alex Gori by, as this latest offering from the Miami-based producer sees him sampling the same Candy J AKA Sweet Pussy Pauline acapella used on Morel’s Grooves’ Down To The Waistline (Honey), my own personal bitch house fave, as well as countless other records of the era. On the original mix of Blur, said extended and utterly filthy vocal sits atop simple, rolling tech-house beats; on the deeper, housier Arado Remix it’s used more sparingly and mostly in treated form, as it is on Natch! & Dothen’s more driving, tribal-leaning rub.

Musically it’s the Arado rub that stands out here… but it’s the original that has to take the gold just for sheer nostalgia’s sake. Wanna pass those poppers, GIRL?

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by Italy’s Deeperfect, who you can find here and here.

Masters At Work – House Masters

September 22, 2014 in Albums

Masters At Work House Masters DefectedI’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve reviewed a compilation featuring the work of this, that or the other premier league house producer and had to write something along the lines of “one day someone will put together the definitive Artist X collection… this isn’t it, but it’s pretty damn good for now”.

Well, I’m not going to write that today, because this pretty much IS the definitive Masters At Work collection you’d want it to be! Sure, we’ve all got our personal faves and if yours are from the more obscure reaches of Kenny and Louie’s vast catalogue then it may not be here*. But from The Nervous Track and Our Mute Horn through to Work and Backfired, most of MAW’s own big tracks are present and correct – as are their most-loved remixes, of everyone from Ruffneck, Ce Ce Peniston and Ultra Nate to The Braxtons, Simply Red and, er, Debbie Gibson, via St Etienne, House Of Gypsies, Atmosfear and D’Influence. Special bonus points, too, for including Helpless by Urbanized – one of my favourite US garage cuts of all time.

Long-term soulful house/garage buyers will of course own much of what’s here already, but it’s nice to have ’em all in one place all the same. But as an introduction to the work of NY’s finest for those just discovering classic house sounds for the first time (and there’s rather a lot of them right now, I’m told), this is pretty much perfect.

Out: Yesterday

About: This is brought to you by the all-conquering Defected.

* No Gonna Get Back To You by MAW & Co from 1993, for instance… hmm, wonder if anyone’ll post it on Facebook today?

Doug Gomez – DRRTYTNEWYORK

September 20, 2014 in Singles

Doug Gomez DRRTYNEWYORK EP NightChild RecordsA three-track EP here from Rissa Garcia’s New York label NightChild Records.

The tracky Banji Bop is up first, kicking off with no-nonsense kicks and shakers, then adding raw, garage-y keys and female vocal snips. You Stole My Love is a more sumptuous, late-night thang with echoing fem vox (the title, basically) and lingering chords, while finally You’re The Woman That I Love again marries soulful vox (male, this time) to ruff-edged, uncompromising kicks… a 5am afterhours workout for floors that like it a lil’ more soulful.

Tuff, raw house/garage bizniss like only New Yorkers know how… and pretty near essential.

Out: This week

About: Find NightChild Records here, here and here.