Irezistibil begins this release like all possible futures have been channelled into one. Like a past amalgamation of those hot, filtered grooves from the 1990’s Horatio’s blinding production adds an array of positive, heavenly qualities to the already perfectly crafted arrangement of soaring funk and thumping beats – invented for the words feel-good. The deeper title track follows with stripped down, spacey elements rising to the fore as the contrasting punchy electrics of Aeteria complete with chiming, soulfully infused resonance.
Listening to these three new productions from Eddy Romero sets the mind racing with all sorts of possibilities. Almost to the point where a thousand ideas are ignited all at once. Never wasting a second the music never fails but to excite beginning with the title track, From One To Another which plays fast and loose with the kind of liquid funkiness that proves to be irresistible. Followed by Where Is My House which supplies taught beats and rhythms alongside deft, playful keys – nothing is as it quite seems to be. Finally, Enjoy completes the picture with further journeys into undulating rhythmic structures and general weirdness that is, once again, quite wonderful.
Been looking forward to hearing this LP from Mr Lionni for some time now, but while it’s no easy feat to pull off an albums worth of self-penned, captivating Dance music it’s achieved admirably here. The title track sets the tone with sassy, shuffling beats combining with funky synth lines fusing the past to the present perfectly. The notable instrumentation continues on Black Orchid as sultry strings are accompanied pulsating bass, although the long player is by no means devoid of the human voice. Robert Owens makes his presence felt on Time Stands Still, with the first single lifted from album featuring Rachel Fraser, Take Me With You doing likewise. There are some lovely instrumental sequences along the way too with Lost Souls pitching an emotive set of chords across a hypnotic array of beats and bass. The deep feel of this album will no doubt appeal to most out there, but having said that this never seems ponderous or underplayed – it’s always bang on target.
It did take a second listen but glad I did as Howie B and Joe Hirst’s magical blend of sci-fi weirdness alongside the brutal bass and pulsating tribal drumming is all quite startling. Frankies City, is all that and more while packing more atmosphere into its unnerving 4.37 than most. Authentication, is a lighter proposition/ listen but none the less a stunning one which hints at minimalism while feeling positive, and dare I say even uplifting in the process with rousing, emotional strings plus zero beats. It’s a collaboration with the visual artist from Italy, Fabio Paleari and was made for an exhibit in Turin. The art in noise.
If it’s dark, brooding intensity you’re after that you’ll find your dreams coming true with this release. Not to put too fine a point on it but the opening About Mary is a deliciously sinister, even compelling listen. Striking drum effects offset the moody, whirling drone with Borg like voices that collectively make imperfect sense. The more hopeful sounding Jazz is next with a stripped back set of punchy drums giving the only possible clue for its namesake. Make A Wish then injects more energy into the bass along with brighter keys, leaving Then It Happened to supply some vocal relief albeit via more dark tales. A captivating set of productions that may well astound you.
How could you not love this combination of fiery Latin, percussion accompanied by soaring Flute and Disco sensibilities on the JC Edit of Dream Alive? But then how could you not love the remainder either: Ups and Downs is sure-fire funky, Pass The Music On exquisitely soulful, with the proceeding second Dr Edit (edit) feeling frisky on the sizzling up-tempo vocoder led Never Let Go. Good time Disco-funk for all the family from this Dublin based label.
The Salsoul Orchestra
Magic Journey (Expanded Edition)
Salsoul Records/ BBR
Any album containing Run Away is a priceless gem as this beautifully sung and orchestrated production cutely testifies. Loleatta Holloway provides the timeless vocals and the track appears in both its album version plus the extended Danny Krivit Re-Edit. Besides that the albums succession of skillful players breathe life into everything from sassy Latin vibes through to gutsy rock n roll with main man Vincent Montanan Jr. very much at the controls. The excellent Getaway provides another instrumental excursion while the opening It’s A New Day supply’s more party-time Disco moments. This edition also features Walter Gibbons reworking of Magic Bird Of Fire which runs into eight minutes of Congo fuelled bliss, and is always worth your time.
The Sub Of Queen West EP
Toronto’s Nathan Barato’s debut release on Stacey Pullen’s imprint is so good it hurts. Good that is you like deep, pounding rhythms and dark atmospheres programmed with a serious amount of shade. Energetic snares and pulsating sub-bass power this as various vocal snippets ingratiate themselves firmly into the groove on the very aptly titled Can You Hear Me? The Mitchell Rhythm on the other hand demonstrates even more percussive ability with sassy cowbells and twisted voices all feeling uneasy, yet completely engaging at the same time.
Mike Dunn meets Victor Simonelli & Luis Radio
Nothing Stays The Same
Number three in Marc Romboy’s Lost Treasures series sees this tasty House cut from 1997 got a timely reworking. And when you listen to the original version it’s all the more impressive that this doesn’t simply copy and paste into 2012 but adds its own distinct flavour to Mike Dunn’s cool spoken vocal. F.E.X remixes with a striking array of toms and beats spelling out funk, while holding back the rewarding soulful keys right until the fifth minute. Next is Melon who adds juicier bass and cowbell to his Chicago inspired reworking which feels more retro than F.E.X but every bit as good.
Love the way this builds your sense of anticipation as it deftly develops the instrumentation into a peak around the half way mark. And then proceeds to do it all over again. It’s a combination of what sounds like reversed Brass and moody chords that feel spellbound and most addictive on Dusty. RICHKLAP on the other hand features delicious, bluesy vocals over heavier rhythms and stabs, and once again is hard to resist. Both the Jackmate and the Viola remixes replay the elements with the later adding Fiddle and big-time breaks to what is certainly a refreshing angle.
This is outstanding work from Vincent Kwok who ends the year on an all-time high with this latest release from Transport. In fact, this easily surpasses the feelings generated with joyous, shimmering synths and a feel good rhythm section that all add up to peak-time business. Plus, with generous hints of melody and constantly evolving keyboard flourishes it’s quite possibly his finest to date. The following It Goes Around version then strips it all down to reinvent the parts on what sounds like classic early nineties styled chords progressions.
Great to see and hear this raft of new producers so obviously inspired by House Music from decades ago, yet firing it up with their own take on the sound. Sometimes imitation is the best form of flattery, although in this case opening number What’s Going On has a very definite 2012/13 twist to it. Driven by head-nodding beats and accompanied by sparse organ chords plus classy vocals this does the job nicely. The title track then ironically sounds much fresher with pulsating basslines and deeper moods, while the remaining Raw Moves and the standout Feel The Vibe rework the formula very effectively indeed.
Perhaps not to surprisingly East End Dubs define a time and place with their emphasis pretty much all on the Dub aspect. Four relatively stripped back grooves go to make up this EP with the pounding title track and much darker Charlie Foxtrot being the most notable. It’s pretty much down to the strength, and quality, of the hard-hitting production that makes these minimal grooves sound so good. Play either at the right moment to ensure a fevered reaction.