The third retrospective set of remixes by Freerange co-head Jamie Odell (aka Jimpster) further completes the outstanding breadth of his output covering the years 2008 to 2017. There is a timeless quality to the music here which only goes to reinforce its strength and consequently the innate power of House Music, although there are certain keynote signatures which the artist employs setting both his own standards and distinctive flavours. While obviously taking cues from America there are determined UK and European hints to it all via the keys, beats and playfulness. And it is this distinction which enables the music stand out from the rest. Fair to say that there’s not a shallow moment contained across the entire selection from the techier movements of Kasper Bjørke – Alcatraz, through to the tougher version of Josh Wink’s excellent – Jus Right, and certainly not forgetting his outstanding rework of Andre Lodemann – Where Are You Now, to highlight but just a few. Proving that music does not exist in decimals in-between numbers and robustly works, or not, as decibels on its own merits this latest compilation arrives primed and ready for the seasons determined heat. The package also contains a continuous mix by the artist himself, so there is really no excuse not to…
Lots of words gather to fire-up the imagination to describe Jimpster’s gritty, unrelenting yet exhilarating reworking of Techno, Disco and House all in one go. Sounding like the future has just erupted in a series of awkward stabs that twist and turn any safe notions of what music should safely sound like is no easy feat. But here we go. Burning Up, succeeds in doing so touching tougher sensibilities one minute, then infusing you with harmonic resonance the next. The intriguingly titled, Becoming Cyclonic follows with what can de safely described as a playful nod to Jazz-Funk as drum machines accompanied by ever expanding fretless basslines tune in perfectly to the here and now.
Catching up and quality is rest assured as Jimpster’s latest long player ignites ideas, sights and sounds across this tempting duration of sometimes smoky, sometimes breezy but always engaging set of tracks. Silent Stars sounds blissful, magnificent with stirring, soulful voices amid tastefully shuffling percussion. While, The Sun Comes Up featuring Jinadu feels equally rewarding care of captivating, emotive keys alongside its life affirming vocals. And so the story continues on with tempos lifting and falling, along with moods and atmospheres, from the taught House movements of Power Of The Doof right down to the cinematic explorations of Spend The Night this album covers more than most when it comes to size, scale and ambition. A beautiful listen to retreat inside – in or outside of the sunshine.
If you’d have asked twenty years ago where House Music would end up? I might not have imagined such an exquisite progression but here we are with Maceo Plex, who for good reason is all over the place at the moment. It can sometimes be hard to put into words precisely how music makes you feel. However, this combination of epic ambience, technological stabs and with yet another unfeasibly funky bassline in place, Frisky does things that are perhaps better left to the imagination. Sex Appeal continues the theme with heavily treated vocals feeling heavenly alongside rapid-fire acid bass and perfectly toned beats. The word Artist is aptly applied. 9
Released by La Fleur’s own label she undoubtedly has the courage of conviction and I have to say that this is excellent/ beautiful in equal measure. The title track eases you into a deep sense of security with gently shuffling rhythms contrasted with a heavy bass and sprinkling of emotive chords. The vocals add even more effortless charm to the production which should gain the labels third release the attention I would suggest it merits. Tjuvlyssnerskan follows by twisting the Swedish noun for feminine around a beautiful, melancholy keyboard loop and more infectious bottom-end. 8
Back with their second release for the label the Polish duo deliver more in the way of contemporary electro-funk that sits very neatly upon Freerange. Open Your Arms plays off-kilter voices against an imaginative arrangement of beats and basslines, which while they throw back to the past also veer cleverly towards the future. The Fred P Reshape then dispenses with that entire notion and delves headlong into subwoofer oblivion, which quite frankly is somewhere you’ll also want to be when you hear this. Love the uncomplicated but deeply intense combination of moody pads and drums which say it all here. Dreamin’ About You finishes you off by the harsh reality of distorted kicks complimented by jazzy stabs, and feels sort of early nineties but then f**ks with that idea completely – cool. 8
More sizzling hot Bass action for you, which in this case emanates from Hot Waves and Favourite Robot recording artist Sean Roman. Bocuse, kicks things off with acid tinged deepness and feels very much of the moment, as its centered around the Bass, while the remainder of production is adorned with all sorts of intriguing electronic sound: some funky – some weird. Moan, follows via the same approach although this feels just that bit funkier. Remixes come from the excellent MANIK, who take the fuzzy tones one step further, plus Waifs and Strays who factor in a 90’s sensibility into their equally fiery interpretation. 7
There’s nothing like the sound of a real bass guitar (or even its digital approximation) to get the juices flowing and Jozif’s latest for Culprit is set to do just that. It would be hard not to love this and the way it pulls all sorts of reference points together: from 80’s synths and Disco styled Strings, to that Funk bass line and 2012 arrangement. Tea, is a spoonful of excellence. The Cure inspired version of Lullaby will appeal to those of a Balearic persuasion and makes ‘just for old time’s sake’ feel like a very good proposition indeed. Which leaves the tasteful, swirling atmospheres of Serenade and the bold electronic textures of down-tempo, Boesen to complete the picture. 8
Jesse Siminski, or better known as, Heartthrob crosses the lines between Techno and electronic House music to feel uniquely spaced-aged. Odyssey’s journey begins with tense beats, supplemented by scratchy keys, and proceeds into darker territory generated by an array of odd-ball electricity that’s nothing but tempting. You would be surprised to hear that, The Liar follows in a lighter note but it doesn’t. It does however offer you funkier cow-bell driven percussion, although even this turns out to be deliciously sinister with the introduction of sleazy sythns and suspect voices. 7
Cielo Sunrise (mixed by Nicolas Matar) Nervous Records
NYC’s Cielo co-owner and resident DJ Nicolas Matar delivers what’s best described a beautiful journey through the sights and sounds of AM:PM. Titled, Sunrise for good reason this perfect blend of soulfully infused rhythms gives you the very best in sassy songs to more vigorous workouts. As you continue listening, Matar proves to be a classic DJ in every sense of the word with the mix tripping through light and shade while touching upon a selection of styles, Cielo is destined to always get the better of your curiosity. Beginning with Guy Gerber’s excellent remix of Deniz Kurtel’s ‘The L Word’ you pass through DJ T’s ‘City Life’ and end up at Jimpster’s beautiful Summer Of Love Remix of ‘1988’ – which is almost right back we all started from. 8
“To celebrate Baker Street Recordings 5th birthday we are giving away an hour long mix featuring some of the labels best tracks from the last 5 years and new remixes of some of the classic Baker Street releases. Mixed by our very own Paul Hardy & McKai. All the tracks in this mix and more are available on the 5th anniversary release out on the 23rd of April at all digital retailers.”
Album review to follow plus interview with Paul Hardy….
Cheryl Lynn In The Night bbr (Big Break Records)
Some three years after the release of her perennial party favourite Got To Be Real, Cheryl Lynn teamed up with producer Ray Parker Jr to produce her third album, In The night in 1981. Opening with her second classic single Shake It Up Tonight the song sees the songstress deliver a pantheon to the cult of Nightlife, encapsulating both its joy and energy and feeling every bit as exciting as …To Be Real, but just that bit more sophisticated. The vocal does that distinctly American thing of sounding soulful, while reaching the extremities of emotion which only singers of a certain calibre can truly do. Also worth noting – if you do such things – are the Gene Page arranged Strings which soar, then hover, with pure Disco class. The album devolps with a selection of hit and miss ballads, mid-tempo popish grooves, and then reaches the rather tasty What’s On Your Mind. 8
Mexico’s Louie Fresco has not only produced one of the most tense intro’s so far this year (albeit only two minutes, nineteen seconds long) but also successfully spins Sylvester’s timely words of wisdom off a deliciously heavy-duty bassline with life-affirming electricity. If all that feels life a bit of a mouthful, then trust me by listening to the track – volume up. Plus with an added bonus, So Good also has a cowbell! Next is the Russ Yallop Remix which coolly builds up more profound feelings with insanely looped voices and undulating deep tones complimenting each other most compellingly. The curiously titled Owl Night finishes with yet more sinister bass notes and cut-up vocals designed to cause serious consternation, which it also does amply well. 9 http://soundcloud.com/no19music/louie-fresco-so-good
On so to a more melodic note which seemingly samples something so beautifully familiar I can’t quite remember what it is. None the less Manuel Tur’s sublime production conjures up various sorts of emotion – all of them positive – as this Balearic infused delight sits perfectly on Freerange with temptingly breathy vocals and swirling pads all feeling gorgeous. The Jimpster Dub retraces the elements in typically deep style with a flurry of striking touches being suitably impressive. Next, Odsidian gets tougher and moodier with almost Rock drumming sounding big alongside acid tones and twisted vocals, while the Damiano Von Erckert remix adds a techno flavor to the equation. Watch out for his forthcoming album: Elephants Reflecting Swans sometime in late April. 9
Franck Roger & Terence: Terry ‘This Is Now’ E.P Real Tone Records
The name which has, I think, appeared here more often than not is Franck Roger who along with Terence:Terry once again gets the thumbs up with this thoughtful Deep House production. The words to the opening Hustling Peoples do just that with its rumbling bassline and addictive synth lines adding extra sparkle to the seemingly moody vocal. The title track follows with organ bass and some poignant fx filling the spaces in-between, leaving the excellent Beaucoup La Fete to complete the release by frequenting the sounds of Chicago to Detroit yet all the while feeling fresh and original – not always an easy feat. 8
What a way to finish! As Sid Vaga’s explosive workout in Latin catches all the rays of rhythm going with sassy piano and vocals playing the party out in style. It may not be rocket science but the Original mix certainly works in terms of expressive energy and also contains some extra cool percussion and guitar flair. The d’sol Remix turns it all on its head with a much deeper interpretation that explores the more subtle elements (if you can believe that) in the original, especially and thankfully the emotive guitar and wind instrumentation all of which really strikes the perfect note to end on. 8