Flash Atkins – The Life & Times

May 27, 2015 in Albums

Flash Atkins The Life & Times Paper RecordingsAnother one that’s been hanging round a week or two, what we have here is the debut album from Paper boss Ben Davis under his ‘Flash Atkins’ superhero alias.

The Life & Times is that most dreaded of musical entities, a concept album – though with only a handful of tracks sporting vocals, you’d easily be forgiven for not noticing! But the album’s track titles are also the chapters in a forthcoming comic book that, I’m told, will reveal the full story of its becaped Mancunian protagonist. There’ll also be a smartphone app and limited edition ale to accompany the release, apparently.

But none of that matters too much right now. What matters is that if druggy, chuggy nu disco and house vibes are your bag you’ll find plenty to enjoy here. A New Kind Of Superhero (feat Aggie Frost on vocals) sounds not a little like Escort, Drug Empire is a slice of boompty sleaze par excellence, Danielle Moore makes an appearance on the suitably (or perhaps just resultingly?) Crazy P-esque Forbidden Flesh, Saved By The Fall and Badger From The North conjure the spirit of early 80s boogie and… well, you get the idea. Paper fans certainly won’t be disappointed, nuff said!

Out: Now

About: Find Paper Recordings here, here and here.

Weedyman – Kanaga’s Revenge

April 4, 2015 in Singles

Weedyman Kanaga's Revenge Paper Recordings“Warped-out sub-tropical house music” is how the hype sheet describes this latest from the legendary Paper Recordings.

Three tracks in a total of four mixes to choose from. BMBJ is up first, an almost slo-mo affair with a druggy, Afro-tinged feel that means it’d play nicely with Desos’s remix of Rosenhaft below, and a decidely old skool-sounding main synth riff. Onda Ondo Anda, up next, is an epic, Detroit-y affair that’d sound right at home in Garnier DJ set. But the standout for yours truly is Feel It, which rocks a very familiar vocal sample from back in the proverbial day, and which is presented in two mixes: the slow n’ sleazy Original which has a definite air of early Chi-town deepness about it, and an ever-so-slightly livelier, boogie-tinged Double Drop Remix from Leon Sweet.

Out: This week

About: Find Paper Recordings on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Diskobeistet – Birkelunden

January 23, 2015 in Singles

Diskobeistet Birkelunden Paper RecordingsWe kick off tonight in (nu) disco territory with this latest offering from the mighty Paper Recordings.

I’ll be honest, I’m not really feeling either the title track or the accompanying remix from Ravi – both are fine musically, but the the Norwegian crooner-style vocal isn’t really doing it for me. Sorry, Paper peeps! But that doesn’t matter, because the other two (instrumental) tracks are worth the price of admission on their own. Gammal Moro builds from a clap-happy intro into an uplifting, surging synth workout that’s got ‘Ibiza sundown’ written all over it, while Nattergal is a more lo-slung and funky groove with wukka-wukking geetar and some very cool parping brass.

Classy stuff as ever from Paper and hey, you might like the vocal on the title track, in which case you’re onto even more of a winner!

Out: This week

About: Find Paper Recordings here, here and here.

J Cub & Lil’ Mark – WSM EP

January 26, 2014 in Singles

J Cub & Lil' Mark WSM EP Paper RecordingsJust the other day I was namechecking J Cub’s Give You My Love as one of the highlights from the new Bargrooves album. Now here he comes again, tonight doing the do for one of the most iconic UK deep house labels of all, Paper Recordings.

Not sure what the EP title’s all about – I’m sure they haven’t really named it in honour of Weston Super Mare – but anyway there are three tracks: Dark Days, Dark Dub and No Time. Dark Days is a midtempo, lolloping deep house groover topped with gentle keys and a spoken “these are dark days” male vocal. Dark Dub is, unsurprisingly, a dubbier take on the same, so that just leaves No Time to talk about, which ain’t nothin’ but a low-slung groove punctuated by snippets of barely-there vox (“no time to get”?) and subtle wukka-wukking guitar flecks.

Again, solid stuff all round but No Time pips it for me, if only for its sheer bloody-minded “heads only”-ness.

Out: This week

About: Find Paper Recordings on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Some albums, quickly…

October 13, 2013 in Albums

In keeping with tonight’s ‘catch up’ theme, just time to tell you about a handful of checkable long-players from the last two weeks before the clock strikes midnight…

Various 50 Pole Position RecordingsVarious – 50
First up, this compilation set from Pole Position Recordings, who are based just over the Severn Bridge from TIWWD in sunny Cardiff. Released (as you may have guessed) to mark the label’s 50th release, the album features some 15 tracks, with a mixture of back catalogue and previously unreleased material “focusing on our nu disco side, with a touch of deeper house for good measure”. Artists and remixers featured include Black Magic Disco, MiDiMAN, Honom, Deep Sound Express and Final DJs, and the general theme is unpretentious, accessible Saturday night dancefloor grooves… one or two tracks veer slightly towards the cheesy side but don’t let that put you off or you’ll miss gems like MiDiMAN’s sumptuous disco-houser Dreams Come True and Satin Jackets’ soaring Balearic remix of Clark & Pudell’s Zashu.

Proviant Audio Drift Days & Disco Nights Paper RecordingsProviant Audio – Drift Days & Disco Nights
Coming from the mighty Paper Recordings, this debut album from Norway’s Proviant Audio crew is something of a mixed bag if I’m honest. The over-reliance on shiny, pop-tastic Daft Punk-isms is its greatest weakness; tracks like glitched-out jazz-funker It’s Back or aptly-named closer Drifting (a slice of Lemon Jelly-esque psych-pop whimsy) its greatest strength. It doesn’t help that several tracks clock in at under 1:30 and feel like incomplete sketches; nor that said sketches include some of the most interesting ideas (see for instance Be For Me, featuring Maya Vik, which comes on like a long-lost 1980s Janet Jackson/Scritti Politti collab). Still, if your copy of Random Access Memories has now worn out through over-use you’re gonna love it.

Mock & Toof Temporary Echoes Tiny SticksMock & Toof – Temporary Echoes
Again a bit of a mixed bag, but in a more positive way this time as hipster faves Mock & Toof pick some of their favourite remixes of tracks from their Tuning Echoes and Temporary Happiness albums. Those doing the remix honours include producers as diverse as Kink & Neville Watson, Kalabrese, DMX Krew and Wolf + Lamb, which means across the 12 tracks you’ll find squelchin’ acid, synthy disco, shimmering proggy sounscapes, dubbed-out trip-hop and more. Comes on Mock & Toof’s own mysterious Tiny Sticks imprint.

Mr Bizz Deeperfect ADE 2013Mr Bizz/Various – Deeperfect ADE 2013
Regular readers will know I’m a fan of Italy’s Deeperfect and their particular brand of chunky tech-house and fat, funky techno. This latest offering doesn’t disappoint, as they get Matteo Floris and his brother Fabrizio (who collectively are Mr Bizz) to mix together 15 tracks as their contribution to the ever-growing ADE sampler pile. Artists include DJ Simi, Michele Pinna, (label boss) Stefano Noferini, Matthew Jay and of course Mr Bizz themselves and it all chugs along nicely, ta. Heads down now…

Forbidden Child Traces Of Life Sofa LoungeForbidden Child – Traces Of Life
Ending on a definite high note here, with an album of very deep house grooves on Helder Teixera’s Sofa Lounge label. It’s been out a couple of weeks on Traxsource but only drops elsewhere tomorrow, and if dubby, headnoddin’, toker-friendly late-night house vibes are your thing then I suggest you pick up a copy immediately. Not much more to say really but this is wicked stuff…

Leon Sweet/2 Billion Beats – Show You/Noise In Your Eye

July 14, 2013 in Singles

smallsmallManchester’s mighty Paper Recordings celebrate their 150th release with a ‘double EP’… not quite sure how that works to be honest but anyway, what you get are one track from Leon Sweet, in four mixes, and two from 2 Billion Beats.

Starting with Mr Sweet’s offering then, Show You features one Cristabella May on vocals, and is in its original form a mid-paced deep houser with disco leanings that wouldn’t sound out of place on an album by sometime labelmates Crazy P(enis). The Dean ‘Sunshine’ Smith Mix is an anthemic, piano-led rub that’s got ‘Ibeefa’ written all over it, the Ron Basejam Mix is one for sweaty soul basements and features added breathy flute action, while Leon himself supplies a Dub just for good measure. As for the 2 Billion Beats cuts, Noise In Your Eye (described on the hype sheets as “a BIG floor disco track that plugs an LCD Soundsystem-shaped hole”) is a struttin’ nu-disco jam with added hands-in-the-air pianos, while Full Moon Boogie is in a similar vein but kinda bigger and raunchier… and with an epic breakdown just after the four-minute mark.

Out: These have been available for a couple of weeks on Juno but are out everywhere this week.

About: You can find Paper on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Farley Silvester – Jam Down Beat Down

October 27, 2012 in Singles

Farley Silvester Jam Down Beat Down Paper Recordings

“Acid house survivors” (as they’re dubbed on the hype sheet) Terry Farley and Stretch Silvester come to the mighty Paper Recordings.

What’s surprising about Jam Down Beat Down is the reggae vocal, which is somewhat remiscent of Earl 16… what’s not surprising, given that it’s on Paper, is that it sits somewhere between deep house and nu boogie (though they’re touting it as ‘darkroom garage’) and is really rather good.

There’s just the two mixes to choose from – Original and Dub, and I think I’m slightly preferring the latter. That’s about all I’ve got to say, really, but do check this one.

Out: This week

About: You can find Paper Recordings on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Jamie L – (What We Saw) In The Burg

October 20, 2012 in Singles

Jamie L (What We Saw) In The Burg Paper Recordings

A vinyl-only release here from the mighty Paper Recordings, coming courtesy of one Jamie L, who they describe as “a mysterious figure of unknown origin and history who fits into the Moodymann/Theo Parrish school of heavy future disco”.

And yeah, “heavy future disco” is as good a description of (What We Saw) In The Burg as any. It’s an unhurried, lo-slung and somewhat druggy, out-there kinda groove, with densely layered production driven by warping bottom-end synths, muted handclaps and barely-there samples of party noise. The Havana Candy Mix goes deeper yet more spangly, like space disco on downers, while finally the Cottam Mix is an epic, evolving pass that fuses late-night deep house vibes and soulful wails with fierce, techy percussion.

I think it’s the Havana Candy Mix that does it best for me but you’ve got to hand it to Paper, really. Half the deep house styles that feature on this blog they pretty much invented back in the mid-90s (well, along with Pagan, Nuphonic, Toko and a few others); now the world and his brother are doing it, they’re doing something slightly different, pushing us forward once more.

Out: This week

About: Paper live here, here and here (website, Facebook, Soundcloud).

Flash Atkins – Did You Forget To Shine?

September 30, 2012 in Singles

Flash Atkins Did You Forget To Shine? Paper Recordings

Deep house and nu-boogie collide on this latest from the mighty Paper Recordings.

In its original form, Did You Forget… is a funk-fuelled, slinky nu-boogie gem in the Crazy P mold. For me, the vocal’s a little too pop-tastic but never fear, cos there’s a Dubstramental on hand which is all about that pulsing synth bassline… if you’ve got Night Dubbin’, Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing or Love & Dancing in your collection this is the mix that’s gonna push your buttons. Then again the lo-slung Jamie L Remix is pretty spiffing in a sleazy, lights-down-low kinda way too. The Havana Candy Mix is, again, a bit too bright and shiny for these ears but again fear not, cos rounding out the EP is the Hot Toddy Mix, which mixes up vintage house flavas (deep, Balearic and acid) for an all-round dancefloor gem.

The beards’ treat of the week!

Out: This week

About: You can find Paper Recordings on Facebook, on Soundcloud or at their own website.

Havana Candy – The Black Keys EP

June 30, 2012 in Singles

Havana Candy Black Keys EP
Some cool leftfield disco vibes here from those past masters of the artform, Paper Recordings… and for once they’ve actually said when it’s out so I can tell you about it! The EP’s made up of three original tracks, plus a remix of Tera from Flash Atkins.
We’ll start with Tera, then, which in its original form is a seriously bass-heavy, mind-melting nu-disco throbber made with dark rooms, smoke machines and strobe lights in mind. Far be it from me to say something as crass as “pass the amyl” but, y’know… while in Mr Atkins’ hands, it’s basically the same track, only with several buckets of acid squelch thrown in. As for the other two, Last Train is wonky downtempo Balearica better suited to warm-up or post-club play, while All Night treads a similar path to Tera, but leans a little more towards the deep house (rather than nu disco) side of things.
Silly faces at the ready, please.
Out: This week
About: Havana Candy is the latest alias for Hebden Bridge-based Joe Lucas, who’s had stuff out under various guises on such northern institutions as Fat City and 2020Vision, as well as Paper and his own Havana Candy Records. You can find him (and HEAR THIS) on Soundcloud, or you can find Paper Recordings here.