Some MORE albums, quickly…

November 11, 2015 in Albums

I’m on a roll with this ‘potted album reviews’ malarkey so here’s some that are dropping THIS week…

Microscapes Vol II Buena Onda RecordsVarious – Microscapes Vol II
A VA comp here from a label who’ve never featured on TIWWD before – France’s Buena Onda Records. Don’t know much about them, but based on this evidence I’d like to find out more! Across Microscapes Vol II‘s 12 tracks you’ll find various flavas of house music, starting out seriously deep (Ekstendia’s Luana is a killer) then progressing into more uptempo (but still pretty deep, in the overall scheme of things) tech/prog territory as the album progresses, all coming from eight artists in total of whom only a couple of names (Knip, Gurwan) are even vaguely familiar. File under ‘unexpected pleasures’.

Golden Lounge 3 Clubstar RecordsVarious – Golden Lounge Vol 3
Here, long-running German label Clubstar present 29 tracks of nosebleed techno and 240bpm nu-gabba… nah, not really. Well, the 29 tracks bit is right… beyond that, expect neo-soul, bruk beat, ultra-chilled house, drifty Balearica, lo-fi hip-hop and other assorted horizontal grooves, coming from a mixture of big names (Jose Padilla, Andy Caldwell, The Rurals, DJ Pippi) and, er, some not quite so big names. The whole thing’s compiled and mixed by label boss Henri Kohn, with CD1 a bit more beat-oriented and CD2 taking us deeper into the sofa-surfin’ zone.

Nu Breeds 10 Spring TubeVarious – Nu Breeds 10
It seems like a little while since Spring Tube had any TIWWD love so let’s rectify that now with a quick peek at the latest in their long-running series of VA compilations. As is par for the Nu Breeds course, you won’t find any big names here… what you WILL find is plenty of smooth, classy electronic tuneage. Spring Tube’s natural musical stomping ground is that area where deep and progressive house collide, and that’s amply reflected in this set, with Moonwatch3r’s Dreams and Nio March’s Delight Me particularly worthy of your attention.

Andy Compton – Acid Andy

July 21, 2015 in Albums

Andy Compton Acid Andy PengMust admit this new long-player from my old friend Mr Compton wasn’t quite what I was expecting. But then it was meant to be not quite what I was expecting; I was expecting it not to be what I was expecting. What I wasn’t expecting was that it would turn out to be not what I was expecting in a way that I wasn’t expecting.*

See, when Andy said he was doing an album called Acid Andy, and when the press release that came with it declared “this isn’t the kind of music you’d normally expect from Andy Compton”, and when the first track’s called That Acid Track, I – linear-minded fool that I am – was expecting an acid house album. Which would indeed be not quite what we were expecting from a producer known for his deep and soulful house work with The Rurals, and latterly for Afro-infused house and straight-up soul.

But this isn’t an acid house album. Okay, the spirit of ’87 is strong in the aforesaid That Acid Track, but that’s it. The rest of it’s essentially a deep, soulful house album; it’s just deep, soulful house that isn’t afraid to use the trusty old 303 as an instrument. So across 16 tracks credited variously to The Rurals, Andy Compton and L.A.M.P, you get several tracks on that ‘deep house with poetry on top’ tip, you get DIY/Drop-like deep dancefloor bounce (see Bad Ass Music), you get west coast-y vibes (Springstep), you get ultra-chilled Harley & Muscle-ish cuts like Spacetime, you get druggy, late-night drifters like Keep It Going, you get Afro-vibes-in-space jams like Spaceworld; all with just a little acid squelch thrown in. You don’t get much of an urge to dig out your old dungarees and bandanas, though; you hardly feel the need to shout ‘acieeeeeeeeeed!’ at all.

Don’t get me wrong, though: it’s a good album. It’s just not quite what I was expecting.

Out: Last week (but last week was stupid busy, sorry bout dat. And besides, it’s only four days old even so!)

About: This comes – of course – on Andy’s own long-running Peng imprint, who live here, here and here.

*Ever read Knots by RD Laing? Consider this paragraph a tribute, in house music review form.

Andy Compton – African King

February 17, 2015 in Singles

Andy Compton African King PengAlthough we only met face-to-face for the first time a couple of years ago, I’ve known Andy Compton via email and phone calls and such for well over a decade, right back to the days of the early Rurals albums. And we’ve got a lot in common: we’re of roughly similar age, we’re both non-meat eaters, we both live in Bristol (now). We’re both blonde and devilishly good-looking (ahem). But one thing we differ on is that whole deep, soulful Afro-house thing. Andy digs it, I don’t so much.

So when this landed I was a bit apprehensive, given the title and the cover art… but I needn’t have been. For while African King has a lilting kalimba riff by way of a top-line, the solid, driving beats and throbbing bassline that underpin it are straight-up deep/tech house pure and simple, with nary an overly intricate burst of hand percussion in sight. There are chanted vox, yes, but they’re kept to a minimum and for the truly ethnophobic there’s even a No Kalimba Remix. The real treat here though, to these ears, is bonus cut Spacetime, a driftin’ late-night deep house gem that owes a million times more to Chi-town than it does to Cape Town.

Any embarrassing “having to tell a mate you’re not really feeling his record”-type situations are therefore well and truly avoided. Phew!

Out: This week

About: This comes on Andy’s own long-running Peng imprint, who you can find here, here and here.

Various – Give A Soul To Your Groove Vol 1

September 29, 2014 in Albums

Give A Soul To Your Groove Vol 1 So Sound RecordingsFollowing on from the recent Jazzy Eyewear comp, here’s a ‘best of’ representing the first dozen years of Fabian’s record label, So Sound Recordings.

Given that I’ve reviewed countless So Sound releases over the years – both on here and in iDJ – and given the talent line-up (Inland Knights, To-Ka Project, Zoo Brazil and of course Jazzy Eyewear, to name but a few), the quality that’s on offer here was never in any real doubt. What’s more surprising is just how fresh it all sounds, when you think that some of these cuts are over a decade old. Stylistically, the emphasis is on fat-assed, floor-friendly deep house grooves in the classic mode, with a couple of excursions into jazzy/soulful pastures (see, for instance, The Rurals’ remix of Mood Rotation’s Getting Started). Jazzy Eyewear’s Found The Way is one highlight with its fusion of lounge-y and jackin’ vibes, Toka Projects’s dreamy, late-night Session One another, though I must admit these ears glowed most on hearing old fave Hot Soup by Inland Knights again.

However much the current hype for so-called ‘deep house’ that isn’t might annoy some of us, there WILL be young buyers of the same out there that are starting to dig deeper… and as such, a compilation showcasing this long-running, always dependable, actual deep house label really couldn’t be much more timely.

Out: Now

About: You can find So Sound Recordings on Soundcloud and Facebook.

The Rurals feat Jaidene Veda – Into Life

February 25, 2011 in Singles

The Rurals Into LifeIt’s true that I’ve not been feeling the soulful stuff so much in recent times, and it’s true that some of The Rurals’ output of late has drifted too far down that noodly/muso/oh-so-earnest kinda route for me. But ‘Into Life’ is great, a sensuous, late-night drifter with a dreamy female vocal from Ms Veda.

Mix-wise there are six in total, though to be honest they don’t vary huge amounts. Jason B Lush’s rub beefs up the kicks just slightly, and hence would probably the favourite for floor play, while Glenn Underground’s pass will be the pic for those who DO like it ever so soulful and noodlesome. But It’s still a package that’s well worth checking. If you love classic Jersey garage à la Hayden Andre or Kriss Koleman, or indeed vintage west coast from Migs, Jay-J & Chris Lum etc, then you’ll love this.

Out: This week

About: This comes of course on Peng, Andy ‘Rurals’ Compton’s own diehard deep house label based, somewhat improbably, in Devon. Visit them online here.