Pretty Criminals – Common Ground EP

November 2, 2014 in Singles

Pretty Criminals Common Ground EP Form-and FunctionThe first appearance on TIWWD in what seems a long, long time by a twosome who used to be regulars, Pretty Criminals.

Having started out as a trad-style deep house duo then moved into more technoid pastures, it seems on this evidence that now the boys from Essex have found their middle ground. Common Ground itself is a strutty garage/bass house affair predicated around chopped-up soulful fem vox, a ruff-edged b-line and even ruffer edged synths. Flip it over, and the much techier Tie That Bitch Down puts treated male S&M vox over squelchy analogue bass, wibbling spacey synths and simple, driving beats.

It’s Common Ground that wins out for me, though, conjuring memories of UKG at its late 90s peak but with a thoroughly contemporary twist.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by Form-and Function, who as ever can be found on Cloudsound and Bookface.

Buraq – Emergence

July 29, 2013 in Singles

Buraq Emergence Savoir Faire MusiqueSomething of a ‘deep house all-stars’ affair now as Savoir Faire call in Pretty Criminals and Rishi K to do the remix honours for Swiss producer Buraq.

With a line-up like that, picking a favourite was always gonna be hard. Buraq’s original, a deep ‘n dark late-night throbber with menacing synth stabs underpinned by rock-solid kicks and topped with some American woman talking scientific psychobabble (sample line: “An emergent behaviour, or an emergent property, can appear when a number of simple entities operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviours as a collective”) over the top? Rishi K’s more mellifluous, prog-tinged pass, which uses only looped snippets of the vocal? Or the Pretty Criminals Dub Mix, where the vocal’s again chopped n’ looped, but this time run through the FX mangle and placed over a seriously pounding, cavernous backdrop?

I think on balance the Original just nudges it for me, but there’ll be a moment for all three, rest assured.

Out: This week

About: You can find Savoir Faire Musique on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Scott Harrington – Underground Vol 6

March 16, 2013 in Albums

Scott Harrington Underground Vol 6 Savoir Faire MusiqueMuch as I do actually LIKE the fromage-tastic Sylvester rework below, it doesn’t really seem an appropriate top-note to end on. So for our last review of the night, I’m gonna break the rules about not reviewing two releases from the same label on the same day, and tell you about this, number six in Savoir Faire’s label comp series.

That said, you probably don’t actually need me to tell you that much about it anyway. Savoir Faire get plenty of TIWWD love, so you already KNOW the kind of traditionally-inclined deep house to expect – techy around the edges in places but with funky/soulful/garage influences dominant. You already KNOW that Scott Harrington is the label boss and you already KNOW that Savoir Faire’s in a position to summon the likes of Pretty Criminals, Dual T, Tony S, Soul Minority, Soul Sway, Nick Devon and Alvaro Hylander, all names that will be very familiar.

And you’ve probably already GUESSED that this features a mix of past faves, new remixes/re-edits and exclusive tracks, so I don’t know that else to tell you really! Except I should probably mention that it’s as fine a compilation of proper deep house music as you’re gonna hear all week…

Out: This week

About: Oh, just look at the Pablo Fierro review below for the links…

Pretty Criminals – Underground Vol 4

November 12, 2012 in Albums

Pretty Criminals Underground Vol 4 Savoir Faire Musique

It’s almost pointless me reviewing this album, to be frank. After all, I’ve been banging on about how good Savoir Faire Musique is for ages. I’ve been banging on about how good Pretty Criminals are for even longer.

So when I tell you that here, the Essex duo present their personal favourites from the SFM back catalogue, you can guess I’m going to love it, can’t you? I guess I should point out quickly, though, that the album features two unreleased cuts from the PCs themselves: their shuffling, percussive mix of John Diloo & Dimi Wilson’s 3 Dots, and the languid, sumptuous What I Know.

Otherwise, I’m just gonna say that with cuts from the likes of Patrick Podage, Danny Quattro, Tony S and Jeremy Breen, this is as fine a consecutive 69 minutes and 48 seconds of deep house music as you’re gonna hear all week, and you should purchase a copy at your earliest opportunity.

Out: This week

About: You can find Savoir Faire Musique on Soundcloud or on Facebook.

Lee Pennington – Credit Rating/Smoky Bottle

September 9, 2012 in Singles

Lee Pennington Credit Rating Unrivaled Music

Some very fine deep/tech grooves here from the ever-checkable Unrivaled Music.

First up is Credit Rating, which in its Original form is a sparse-yet-luxuriant midtempo cut that chugs along nicely without feeling the need to ‘do’ very much at all, and that’s dominated by piano/organ (?) stabs and unassuming but nonetheless rock solid 4/4s. Groove Syndicate’s remix adds slightly more involved percussion and some low-end acid bubble, while Pretty Criminals’ Raw To The Floor Cut has that jazzy, rough-edged feel you associate with vintage NYC house from the early 90s.

As for Smoky Bottle, in its Original form that’s a slightly more uptempo/driving deep/tech dancefloor cut, with some proggy tinges around the edges, while Groove Syndicate strip it right down to the beat and bassline to turn the track into a proper dark room throbber and no mistake guv.

With not a duff mix in sight, this is a very solid bet indeed.

Out: This week

About: Unrivaled is part of the Endemic Digital stable.

Pretty Criminals – Broken Heart Pt 1

June 20, 2012 in Singles

Pretty Criminals Broken Heart

With their recent releases having gone down more of a techno route, it’s good to see those Essex boys Pretty Criminals back in the deep house saddle with this latest offering.

Broken Heart comes in three mixes (for now… I’m guessing there IS gonna be a Pt 2!). The Original and Miami Ice mixes don’t vary huge amounts, though: both are fairly straight-up deep housers in the contemporary style, with looped-up lines of soulful vocal and an insistent organ riff throughout. Okay so, yeah, The Original makes more of the beats, the Miami Ice rub more of the organ, and I’m just SLIGHTLY preferring the latter, if pushed… but to any but the most nerdy deep house spotter they’d be two peas in a pod. Both also have more than a little of that Berlin flavour about ’em, which makes them the obvious choices for dancefloor play in non-specialist clubs.

For TIWWD’s purposes, though, it’s the Patrick Podage & Nikola Kotevski Remix that’s the real find here – a sparse n’ dubby heads’ delight. Like the song says: shake ’em down…

Out: This week

About: This is another gem brought to you by that bastion of all things deep, Scott Harrington’s always-checkable Savoir Faire Musique. Click through for a fresh DJ mix from Mr Harrington himself as well.

Peter O – In Our Time EP

May 1, 2012 in Singles

Is it a while since we had anything from Electric Sheep Recordings on here? Seems like it has been… not sure how that’s happened but anyway, here’s their latest. And it’s rather good.

A Brighton-based artist who (it says here) has been DJing since the late 80s but only recently started making steps into production, Peter O serves up for your pleasure two fully instrumental originals. Space is an almost textbook late-night deep house groove, all pads and hi-hats and a luvverly warm bassline, while In Our Time is slightly more downtempo, atmospheric and filmic.

You then also get two remixes of the latter cut. Dorothy’s Ghost go full-on downtempo and experimental and I have to say their remix leaves these ears a little cold, but Pretty Criminals’ Time Is Acid Remix is worth checking, though its not the retro jack-fest you might be expecting, rather branching out into leftfield techno pastures.

It’s Space that stands out for me but this is a strong EP all round.

Out: This week

About: Find Electric Sheep online here.

Pretty Criminals – Rhythm Love

January 21, 2012 in Singles

Given that I’ve raved about pretty much every Savoir Faire Musique release to date, and given that I put Pretty Criminals in iDJ’s Rising Stars Of Deep/Tech House feature less than a year ago, then a new Pretty Criminals single on SFM should be pretty much a no-brainer, yes?

Well, pretty much. It’s fair to say that Rhythm Love isn’t the most groundbreaking or radical deep house record in the world, but then you don’t need every record to be (and if they all were, none of them would be anyway). But as solid bets go, this is very solid indeed, with mixes ranging from the midtempo shuffle of the original to the more insistent and driving Dual T Remix (my pick for floor play) to the sparser and slightly more leftfield Soul Sway Dub.

Out: This week
About: Just to remind you, Savoir Faire Musique is brought to you by Scott Harrington of City Soul Project, and is based in Southend On Sea… find ’em on Facebook, Soundcloud and Mixcloud.