reviews:32

X-Press 2
‘The House Of Xpress 2’
Skint Records

If the title: The House Of… transports you back to New York in the early nineties then the music plays every bit for 2012. I like/ love this album in the same way I do the new Azari & III and for the very same reasons too – you can spot the influences and reference points yet relish in just how contemporary and fabulous it all is – and it certainly doesn’t sound like a revival.  From the big room beats of Opulence to Roland Clark featured on Million Miles Away the productions sizzle with ideas and moods with a series of collaborations that pull in the calibre of Timo Garcia to Tim Deluxe: who’s Lost the Feelin’ takes tension to an impressive extreme. Other highlights are undoubtedly the opening This Is War with Doll – not least of all because of the ecstasy inducing E2-E4 sequence – and the extra squelchy funk of Dark Matar. In ways this album could have been recorded at anytime over the past couple of decades but the fact that it feels this exciting says all that needs saying. 8

release: 23 Jan 2012

listen to album minimix  http://soundcloud.com/skintrecords/the-house-of-x-press-2-album

http://www.skintentertainment.com/skint

 

James Mile
‘Ease The Pain’
Kaluki Musik

More records like this one and someone will be suggesting the return of House Music’s golden era.  The strongest release on Kaluki so far – could be, if that is you like moody European electronics crossed with Chicago via Detroit (ish). What’s more Italian producer has added a totally succinct vocal refrain giving the track all the soul required against the backdrop of sinister synths and euro-beat references. The first remix is from Luca Bear and Romano Alfieri who add yet more haunting qualities coupled with a fierce bassline, the final from Marco Effe is simply outstanding as it deepens the mood and draws you into a life all of its own. 9

release: 17 Jan 2012

https://www.facebook.com/KalukiMusik

 

Spellband
‘The Dogz Family EP’
Madhouse Records

Italy’s magical combination of Dj/ producers Giuseppe, Andrea and Vins deliver four equally dazzling cuts for Kerri Chandler’s Madhouse. Dogzmatic starts with a high octane sequence of hypnotic synth and piano rushing headlong into oblivion, or there abouts. The excellent Euphoria follows with one of those irresistiblly in-vogue organ led basslines played off crunchy handclaps and intense atmospherics. New Era gets moodier with yet more organ and drum machines invoking the past on this cool number, leaving the stunning Powerplant Powered feeling heavenly with its hands-in-air marimba vibes shouting sunshine all the way…
Release: 16 January 2012 on Beatport. General from 30 Jan.

http://www.spellband.com/

 

Duckbeats
‘I Really Do Believe’
(Jet Project Remix)
Extended Play

Initially released last October Chris Duckenfield’s effervescent combination of legend Etta James and an assortment of Disco beats and House attitude (see killer bassline) now gets the Jet Project treatment – not forgetting the heavy duty Chicago Damn version which accompanied the original of course. Their Believe In Dub version again hits the spot with carefully crafted bass notes and shuffling rhythms offset against delays’ galore and a smart arrangement of sounds set to stun. Head-nodding, soulful and to the point. 8

release: 16 Jan 2012

http://soundcloud.com/chris-duckenfield/cdvscd_i-really-do-believe-1

http://jetproject-inflightentertainment.blogspot.com/

http://www.chrisduckenfield.com/ 

 

Inspiration: Manuel Göttsching ‘E2-E4’ (1984)

 

 

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Reviews:27

Max Chapman
‘The Rhythm Stick EP’
Kaluki Musik

Max Chapman does Kaluki proud with this EP. Rhythm Stick’s bold bassline provides the reason that made you fall in love with House Music in the first place. Plus with its creative combination of smart drum programming, ear pleasing sounds and wish you’d thought of it arrangement this proves hard not to love. Escape again adds together notable sounds with fresh feeling perspective, with Another Time and a Julien Sandre collaboration finishing with yet more addictive bass, perilous synths and haunting voices. 9

http://www.myspace.com/kalukimusik

 

I:Cube
‘Lucifer En Discothèque EP’
Versatile Records

Transpiration sounds like a Todd Terry stab on acid. And as tempting as that may, or may not sound, what’s truly exciting about I:Cube’s shimmering production is that it makes you want to jump up and down in no particular order. Coupled with big Disco hi-hats and edgy electronics this has to be heard to be believed! Jah Menta then delivers a scratchy soundtrack to tempt you further into mysticism, while the title track is an instant rush of new-wave disco that is purely party. Forward thinking music and a perfect teaser of what’s in store from the forthcoming album, Megamix. 8

http://versatilerecords.com/chateauflight/news/listen-to-the-new-icube-ep-coming-out-in-december-and-icube-forthcoming-album-details-revealed/

 

 

Matthias Vogt
‘Under The Radar EP’
Lazy Days Recordings

Everything begins with a C as this Chicago inspired EP kicks off with the effortlessly cool, C-Scat. Built around jazzy vocal snippets and one mother of a bassline this hits the spot nicely. Under The Radar, follows with deeper chords and toms producing tasteful moods, as The Flow version of the same proceeds to explore the atmosphere further with poignant piano and classic techno percussion. And if all of that wasn’t enough the Pad-A-Pella does just what you would expect with funkier beats and even more space and time. 8

http://soundcloud.com/fredeverything/undertheradarsnip

release: 6 december 2011

 

 

Le Vinyl
‘Time For Change’
Deep Edition Recordings

It isn’t all just about the drum and the bass as this imaginative production shares frequently excitable rhythms and effervescent chords with you, alongside a spoken sample that feels warmly familiar – or maybe not. Picking up the pace the ‘Chris Minus a bit Deep Fried Remix’ wobbles the bassline over snappy snares and disco attitude to provide a notable alternative. 8

 

http://soundcloud.com/deep-edition-recordings

release: 5 december 2011

 

 

Shades Of Gray
‘Soul Machine’
Beef Records

Michal Schwa and Nick West wear the confidence of their convictions proudly on their respective sleeves as this two CD (vinyl and digital) set has the audacity to be released alongside the accompanying remixes on their own label. Which in this case come from the likes of The Timewriter, Jef K & Gwen Maze, Soul Minority. The original music is packed with energy and comes with a cool European edge that only adds to the charm, as both vocals and dubs vi equally for your attention. The counterparts then rework the lot. At times this leans towards the dancefloor – witness First Kontakt – while at others has ambience in mind such as on the captivating, Illusions. Beats range from straight-up House to the more twisted variety while funky instrumentation and the smart use of effects always keep you plugged into the loop. 7

http://soundcloud.com/kahua-music/sets/beefcd005-originals

http://www.beefrecords.net/

release: 5 december 2011

 

and last but not least is this forthcoming single (no release date yet) from Wagon Cookin’. excellent video – especially if you missed the eighties (lucky you!)

 

 

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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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