Ozzi – The Funk

October 27, 2015 in Singles

Ozzi The Funk Dusty GroovesOzzi has featured on TIWWD several times before, with bass-y, garage-y house releases on labels like Criminal Hype, Xylo and his own All Over It Records… now he steps up with some deep/tech-house stylings for fledgling UK label Dusty Grooves.

Three quite different rubs of The Funk to choose from. The original is the big n’ strutty one, with rolling drums, garage-y stabs/chords and a looped “the funk, baby!” rap vocal. The S. Jay Remix heads a little deeper and is also very playable, but the standout to these ears is the Ensall Remix, which maintains the energetic feel of the original but adds some killer Hammond organ licks.

Out: Friday (30 October)

About: This is only the second release from Dusty Grooves, who are based in the thriving electronic music hub that is Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire. You can find out more here, here and here.

Various – The Hype Vol 1

September 21, 2015 in Singles

The Hype Vol 1 Criminal HypeAnd speaking of chunky, techy, bassy, bouncy-ass house music (see MadTech review below)… after two albums from much-respected NYC veterans we jump to the opposite end of the spectrum with this first label comp from fledgling Welsh label Criminal Hype.

“Vast vibes across house and techno… no fillers” is how the hype sheet describes it. But as simply copy and pasting that sentence doesn’t really count as a review, I’ll say instead that there are 10 cuts on offer, from the likes of Italobros, Ki Creighton, Ozzi and Dene Antony (that is: not complete newbies but not household names either) and that the music taken as a whole spans tech-house, G-house and that variety of 2015-style house that some folk like to grumble about because “it’s really just 90s garage”… like that was a bad thing? Echoes of Tyree Cooper on Cal Johnstone’s Dooper are enough to win it ‘highlight’ status, with other standouts including the slightly deeper, more musical vibes of Jonathan Squillace’s Acta Non Verba and Ian Jay & Matt Williams’s Need It, a track that takes me back to 1001 bass drops on various speed garage and bassline house floors over the past two decades. Again, though, you’ll find your own faves because the standard is high throughout.

I love albums like this – they make me feel like the future of house n’ garage music is safe for a while yet…

Out: Now (but only since yesterday)

About: You can find Criminal Hype on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Ozzi – The Others

June 7, 2015 in Singles

Some classically-styled but thoroughly now-sounding house n’ garage vibes straight outta Sheffield on this four-track EP from Ozzi, coming on All Over It Records, the label he  co-owns with one Joe Trotter.

Ozzi The Others All Over It RecordsYou Make The Way is up first, topping energetic, driving beats with garage organs and a diva “you make me wait” vocal, as well as a second, spoken male vocal banging on about “the underground”. Not much too groundbreaking going on here, admittedly, but it can safely be filed under ‘slammin” all the same. Y’All Ready pays homage to vintage hip-house with its Chi-town drums, 303 bassline and looped “y’all ready for this?” vocal, while You Make Me Feel is a more bass house-y affair that sounds like an early draft of You Make The Way – it uses a near-identical vocal sample, while Ozzi himself says modestly in the press release, “don’t really play this one out any more, it’s over a year old [from] when I was going through a donk-y phase.” And then finally Mercy has more than a hint of classic hardcore about it, what with its toppy breakbeats and badman shouts (including a certain very famous one that gives the track its title).

Been hearing not a few people bitching about young producers “recycling the 90s” lately but here, Ozzi’s taken classic tropes and made them well and truly his own, not least because he’s unafraid to mix n’ match styles and sounds with scant regard for what may or may not have gone with what 20 years previously. Big up!

Out: This week

About: You can find All Over It Records on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Ozzi – Resistance EP

March 1, 2015 in Singles

Ozzi Resistance EP Criminal HypeSome chunky, no-nonsense contemporary house/tech-house grooves here from Swansea’s Criminal Hype.

Check It Out is up first, a big n’ beefy number which uses a familiar “check this out” vocal sample that I think is from Run DMC’s Here We Go, though I could be wrong. You then also get an Alt Bass Mix which is, well, bassier. Good Times operates in similarly tuff territory and has a spoken vocal featuring some guy talking about the meaning of house, as well as a neat scratching interlude in the middle, while finally the slightly deeper/sparser Resistance itself has another sampled, spoken vocal – this time (I’m 99.9% certain) culled from an interview with Mad Mike himself, discussing why “we decided to do our thing faceless.”

All four should be dead certs for peaktime play.

Out: This week

About: You can find Criminal Hype on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Ozzi – Dis Version

November 29, 2014 in Singles

Ozzi Dis Version Xylo MusicWhen I saw the title of this one, I thought it was gonna be some kind of remix of Mutabaruka’s militant reggae classic Dis Poem.

It’s not, but I wasn’t far off… instead it lifts chunks of reggae toaster vox (a young U-Roy I think, but I wouldn’t put money on it) and places them atop a fat speed garage bassline, complete with sirens, familiar synth wibbles, “all junglist!” shouts and Dee-Klinesque stutter FX on the voc-voc-voc-vocal.

It’s like 1997 all over again, and it’s ace. Just the one mix, so we’re done here.

Out: This week

About: This comes on Xylo Music, who you can find here and here.

Ozzi – My Love

August 23, 2014 in Singles

Ozzi My Love Trojan House RecordsSome fine Saturday night dancefloor struttery here from Aussie label Trojan House Records.

In its original form, My Love is essentially a UKG/bassline affair, sporting the obligtory BIIIIG bassline and a very British-sounding “You left me broken-hearted/from the day that you departed” female vocal. A track that wouldn’t have sounded at all out of place on Silk City FM ten years back! The deeper Greenfish Remix has a housier feel, while the Mr Jefferson Remix is a more hip-swayin’ pass underpinned by drums that border on breakbeats. Rounding out the package, you also get I Remember, again a decidedly garage-leaning deep houser that borrows (or possibly resings?) a certain classic Ralphi Rosario vocal from days of yore…

Just for nostalgia’s sake I think it’s actually I Remember that takes the gold for me, but this is a strong package all round for those of a (UK) garage-y bent.

Out: This week

About: You can find Trojan House Records here, here and here.

Lee Walker – Something Better Give EP

May 10, 2014 in Singles

Lee Walker Something Better Give Savoir Faire MusiquePredictably fine fare here from a producer and a label (Savoir Faire Musique) who are no strangers to this blog. But while the quality’s predictable the timbre certainly isn’t, as SFM turn the dark up by several notches…

On the A, Something’s Gotta Give is a chunky, techy affair, centred around a big, throbbing bass riff and liberal vocal bites (though I think it’s resung, not a sample) from Rick James’s Give It To Me Baby. The New Rules Womp Mix thereof is then definitely a surprise from this usually more soulfully inclined imprint, as we enter full-on warper territory! On the flip, You Just Better is another techy cut with another big bass-synth riff and treated “now listen to me, you better dance” male vox, and comes accompanied by an Ozzi Remix that tuffens up the drums and, again, gets some serious wobble on in the bass department.

Typical Savoir Faire tackle this EP is not – by any means. But seriously rocking, it most certainly is!

Out: This week

About: Find Savoir Faire Musique on Soundcloud and Facebook.