reviews:74

roberto rodRoberto Rodriguez
Dance Like Nobody’s Watching EP
Freerange Records

Rodriguez returns to the label after his previous 2008 outing with two new tracks that define 2013 as much as they do speak about the flux between old and new. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching is nostalgic for sure, but then that will either delight or bore you in equal measure – depending on your outlook on the current retrospection of the American House Music sound which evolved out of 1991. Perhaps, not surprisingly, I love this and Roberto gets it right down to the bone with punchy organ and piano chords adding neat definition to the ‘feel alright’ vocal snippets. Oxymoron then flips the coin with the trackier style that came out of the same era as dark stabs and sizzling hi-hats take center stage. Lusciously intense this keeps you waiting with a tension building arrangement which peaks at the breakdown, while proceeding to push forward with the addition of trademark funky cowbell. The Black Madonna ‘We Still Believe’ version of Dance… finishes by proudly reaffirming the sentiment with heavy-duty kick drums and pure House bass spread out across a sparser selection of piano.

http://www.freerangerecords.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roberto-Rodriguez/6171688554

 

mikeMike Wall
Different Colours
Hidden Recordings

What I love about Mike Wall’s debut long player for Hidden is the fact that the German producer doesn’t dwell too much on subtleties. Its fast, pounding and very insistent music that is little short of compelling despite its brutal, sometimes beautiful intensity. The title track does what the excellent Mr G does only from a different angle with driving rhythms offset by moody stabs coupled with that breathless quality which you can’t quite seem to escape from. The fierce syncopation continues with All I Ever Wanted getting freaky with its twisted combination of stabs and (almost) Jazzy Sax. And so the story continues until you reach the titles: Suicide, Choose Life, Ketamine, then ending at Suggestion and I guess a climax is reached. Having said that the drum programming is always invigorating while the mood Mike Wall creates throughout is never less than spectacular.

release: January

http://www.hidden-recordings.com/front_content.php?idcat=39

 

I WANT YOU 004Juan Kidd
I Want You
Weirdo

The brilliantly titled Weirdo is the relatively new label from Juan Kidd who also supplies this release, and why not as this is very excellent. I Want You combines fierce old-school piano chords along with punctuating hits of organ which squeeze every atom of energy out of the snare infused groove. Matters then continue to intensify with the introduction of blasting horns and sprinkles of smooth Fender Rhodes. You need this in your life…

release:.January 29 on Beatport

https://soundcloud.com/juankidd/juan-kidd-i-want-you-master

http://www.juankidd.com

 

pets027_1440x1440_3Stefano Ritteri
Nice Up Your Dance
Pets Recordings

Two reasons why I suspect this is an outstanding piece of music. First is that almost despite the straight up shuffling 909 drums everything else feels quite unique; from the shivering bassline to the array of wildly atmospheric synths. Second, is the darkly inspired ‘heavenly father’ voices that pepper the arrangement. Jaymo and Andy George’s Refix ’96 version then turns it upside down with a seriously heavyweight bassline, hints of Sylvester and an altogether deeper reworking of the atmosphere that feels equally sublime and enticing. Second track from Stefano Ritteri is the EP’s title and is a much looser, funkier affair complete with 60’s organ, 70’s guitar licks and Train line sound effects that give it Balearic sense of cheekiness that is too exciting to ignore.

release: January 14

https://soundcloud.com/stefanoritteri/sets/nice-up-your-dance-ep

https://www.facebook.com/StefanoRitteriOfficial

 

bubbaBubba & T-Bone Feat. Abe Duque
Bloodline
Extended Play

Extended Play start the new year on the high that they ended 2012 on. This forward pointing arrangement of machine-funk from Bubba & T-Bone employs tempting Electro beats from the past while also engaging with the current House sensibilities so beloved by the label. New York’s Abe Duque supplies the spoken word and receives a heavy sci-fi treatment on the stunning Original version. A series of five remixes then proceed to deconstruct its meaning starting with Lee Webster who impressively reinterprets Bloodline with low-slung reggae styled bass and techno chords. JC Williams visits Detroit for further inspiration with classic trademark drums and taught rhythms reigniting the vocal, with the Ten Story version getting deeper, and Sean Roman & Dick Diamonds Re-Salt mix doing likewise with a sprinkling a cutting stabs. Denney rounds off with more hot bassline action and stripped back beats which develop the mood notably as the breakdown arrives.

release: January 21

https://www.facebook.com/extndply?fref=ts

 

Ronnie Laws
Mr Nice Guy/ Classic Masters
Soul Music Records

I guess when you think of Ronnie Laws you probably think of his timeless classic Always There from 1975. But as with most artists it’s good to dig a little deeper to see what else there is . For the record Always… (also covered by Side Effect & Incognito) is undoubtedly a gem and is featured here from his 1985 Classic Masters album, which also collates his finest work from the 70’s to early 80’s. The following Love Is Here moves along similar lines, although with a slower funkier groove that again displays his undoubted prowess as a player/ composer. Indeed apart from the very occasional dated 80’s sounding moment there are plenty of Jazzy movements to savour here as the finale of Saturday Evening plays out with some seriously tasty piano. The first half of this double set re-release is his 1983 album Mr Nice Guy whose opening Can’t Save Tomorrow holds a curious appeal, as does the darker Rolling with its taped voices and haunting Saxophone proving to be most alluring.

release: January 21

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/soul-exd.asp?id=3948

http://www.ronnielawsmusic.com

 

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Reviews:21

 

Angus Jefford
‘Moves Revived’
Kaluki Musik

If House Music wasn’t alive and kicking in 2011 then you wouldn’t have records like this being produced. Title track, Moves Revived has the sort of Kick drum sound systems are tested by with its heavy-duty beat and hypnotic voices setting you up for an array of aurally assaulting acid bass and rapid-fire snares. Flex feels sparser with prickly organ notes and insistent vocals leaving room for the Ellesse & Jacob Who remix to trip it out with electro toms and impressively moody sounds. Juan Kidd revisits Moves although this time adds bonus intensity care of delicious bass and excellent oddball keyboard combinations. All night long…  9

release: 8 Nov 2011

http://www.juno.co.uk/ppps/products/1843354-02.htm

                                              

Oliver Huntemann
‘Paranoia’
Ideal Audio

What is inescapable on Oliver Huntemann’s fourth studio album is the sheer breadth of technology and alongside co-producer Andre Winter the skill with which it has been engaged. Never afraid to tweak the elements that one stage further to produce a desired effect, such as on the devilish electronics of Delirium one moment, sounds are then replayed in a different vein the next with Robert Owens robustly intoning on Hope. In between the experience ranges from fierce electronica you can dance too – albeit horizontally challenged – to moodier classically inclined soundtracks which traverse the light fantastic succulently as on the finale, The End. 7

release: 2 Nov 2011

http://www.juno.co.uk/ppps/products/1849196-02.htm

 

Ivan Garci
‘El Sonido Del Mar e.p’
Epoque Music Label

I like the way the music engages you on this release even when played at a low volume. That’s to do with the almost gentle though somewhat melancholy feel to the Original version which plays easy going keys off relaxed percussion and atmospheric synths to, it has to be said, pleasing effect. The John Dare mix turns up the volume with pacier drums and tighter bassline though retains the delicate sprinkling of piano, while the SoulDeep Inc version lifts to the next level with a stronger rhythm section providing extra energy and a welcome touch of Latin swing. 7

release: 1 Nov 2011 (Beatport)

http://www.beatport.com/#release/el-sonido-del-mar-ep/823754

 

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