John Quina – Moon

February 21, 2016 in Singles

John Quina Moon Da T'House RecordsThere are plenty of people, I know, who find the sound of the Korg M1 ‘tedious’ and ‘over-used’. Such people had best look away now… but if, like me, you can’t get enough of big, throbbing organs then step right on in!

I needn’t detain you too long in any case, cos there’s just the one track here, and it’s a fairly simple affair at that. Take no-nonsense house beats, add some classic M1 throb and sprinkle some Yellow Magic Orchestra-ish shimmering, fluttering synths over the top, and it’s basically job done as far as Mr Quina’s concerned.

But sometimes less is more, and lovers of deep organ grooves will lap this up. So if that’s you, check it!

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by Mexican label Da T’House Records, who can be found on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Austin’s Groove – Neglected

December 20, 2015 in Singles

Austin's Groove Neglected DbeatzionA nice easy one now cos there’s just the one mix!

Coming from Argentinian label Dbeatzion, Neglected is a superb slice of trad-style but contemporary-sounding garage, with parping organs, a nice chunky bassline and a ‘male’ soul vocal – “Lord knows I’ve got things to do, but they all go neglected” – which I think, though I could be wrong, is actually a downpitched sample from Gloria Gaynor’s Just Keep Thinking About You. Or I guess it would be a cover, or they could just have resung it.

Doesn’t really matter – this rocks either way.

Out: This week

About: Find Dbeatzion here, here and here.

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.

Diddy Kong – Be As One

November 21, 2015 in Singles

Diddy Kong Be As One Sweep The Floor RecordsSweep The Floor come up with the retro-fied but still now-sounding house goods once more.

In its Original form, Be As One is all about an understated but nevertheless insistent piano riff, which sits atop lingering synth chords and nice chunky beats. The A.S.R Remix pumps things up for peaktime play, while Optimator takes us into squelchy ‘bass house’ territory. But the standout for yours truly is the Michael Solomons Remix, which can be safely filed in the bag/wallet/folder marked ‘M1 monsters’.

Proper Saturday night peaktime house bizniss, yagetmi?

Out: This week

About: Find Sweep The Floor on Soundcloud and Facebook.

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.

Rae – Deep In Your Love

October 31, 2015 in Singles

Rae Deep In Your Love EP AzuliUnashamed bouncin’ peaktime frolics here from Azuli.

On the A, Deep In Your Love itself is a 2015-style podium belter, all crisp beats, (slightly Roisin-ish) “deep in your love” female vocal and downpitched counterpart and hyowge M1 line. Let’s see those hands in the air now! Flip it over, and Don’t Make Me Wait is, it probably won’t surprise anyone to learn, a reworking of the Peech Boys’ proto-garage classic of the same name; the real news is that it’s better than most of the 450 or so other attempts that’ve landed in the TIWWD inbox over the years, what with the sweet vocal from Rae herself and a no-messin’ bottom end from the speed garage/bassline house school of thought.

Straddling the commercial/credible divide with some considerable aplomb, this is one you’re going to be hearing a lot, methinks.

Out: This week

About: Find Azuli Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Phil Maher & Secret Sinz – Don’t Say You Love Me

September 4, 2015 in Singles

Phil Maher & Secret Sinz Don't You Say You Love Me Blackroom RecordsSeeing as it’s Friday night, let’s finish on a more party-hearty tip with this two-tracker from fledgling UK label Blackroom Records.

Y’know that current style of house people like to complain about, because MoS, Hed Kandi et al insist on calling it “deep house” when it’s really got more in common with mid-90s handbag and garage? Of course you do… well, as I think I’ve said on here before, I get annoyed about it being mislabelled as “deep house” too but some of it, while admittedly on the commercial side, IS actually pretty decent house music all the same. As this is.

Two mixes to choose from: the Classic Club Mix, a full-on vox/piano/M1 belter, and the slightly more subdued After Dark Mix. The former takes me back to many a Manchester podium circa 1994-96 – no mean feat for a record released 20 years later! – so going to have to plump for that one.

Out: This week

About: Find Blackroom Records – who generally concentrate on darker, techier sounds than this, BTW – here, here and here.

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.

Various – Different Attitudes For The Summer 2015

July 12, 2015 in Albums

Different Attitudes For The Summer 2015Another strong compilation set from Different Attitudes here, featuring 10 deep/tech house nuggets from as many different artists.

3Kilo’s Feel It gets the ball rolling in contemporary-style deep house fashion, followed by 4BeatClub’s slow-chuggin’, almost new beat-ish Automaton. Alek Soltirov’s Pulsar Wind rocks sparse drums and busy synths, while Alternate Roots bring a little classic house/garage flava with the female-vocalled, funk-fuelled Different Spaces. Cartoon’s Dive Me sees us back in more contemporary territory with its soulful male vox and fat, squelchy bass, and we stay there for Jon Sweetname’s Muzungu, a synthier cut. Lee Mace’s Liquid Love with its dark, rumbling bass, skippy beats and sweet fem vox is where the garage lovers will want to head first, while if it’s bouncy M1 vibes you’re after look no further than Nacho Riveros’s Let’s Dance. Next To You by Revivis is a crunchy, techy and slightly wonkified affair topped with more soulful male vox, and finally Underfloor’s B.O.W plays us out in trippy, heads-down 4am fashion.

Something for everyone, really… but the Alternate Roots, Lee Mace, 4BeatClub and Nacho Riveros offerings stand out for this reviewer.

Out: This week on Traxsource, everywhere else from 20 July

About: Find Different Attitudes, as ever, on Soundcloud and Facebook.

PS: The more observant among you may notice that the tracks are listed here in alphabetical order of artist, which is a tad unusual… but I checked and that does appear to be the order they’re in.

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.