Reviews: 152

Single of the Week

Matthus Raman
Swimming With Birds
Musik Gewinnt Freunde

What’s not to love about this debut for the label as Matthus Raman aka French DJ/ Producer Alexandre sequences a teasing, sensual series of engaging electronic notes together with pulsating beats and a surreal sense of occasion. Swimming With Birds is a captivating piece of music gets played over some eight minutes and I’d be more than happy if it was even longer. A first rate remix comes from Jake Chambers who lends the title a darker, more brooding atmosphere care off slightly sinister bass and tougher sounding drums. Next is Ambria which continues the theme of explorative synthesisers alongside probing drum machines, although this time round features repeating minimalist signatures that capture their intended mood perfectly – happy/ melancholy.

Release: May 25

MF Hercules
Classic Music Company

Yes it’s ridiculously infectious with nagging melodies bounding across your stereo and you could quite easily see/ hear this receiving big-time airplay across the coming summer party-time months? Built upon the breezy vocal refrains along with sassy organ pulses and funky drums and bass this also comes with two spot on remixes. First from Nick Monaco who toughens up the bassline and adds more exotic keys to arrangement offsetting the voices nicely. Plus, from Till Von Sein & Tigerskin Remix who play a shimmering line of Marimba over the enhanced percussion fuelling yet another irresistible take of this.

Release: June 8

Juliet Sikora
Larrys Garage EP

Already celebrating ten years in existence now comes this killer release from Kittball. No surprises for guessing the who, what, why or wherefore behind the inspiration for this track: Larry’s Garage. Or burning Hot House Music as I like to call it. The beats are rough and edgy as the bassline punches deep while you may recognize the voice over which drives it all along providing a serious injection of impassioned energy into this inescapably great track. Tender Trip, on the other hand fuses contemporary Acid lines together with hissing hi-hats and feels all the more melodic in the process.

Release: May 26

Various Artists
Far Out Recordings

This is beautiful. So good in fact that the sun has come out in the north of England. Compiled by the labels very own Joe Davis to celebrate twenty of Far Out Recording’s quest to bring you the very best of Brazilian music this compilation is little short of a joy to behold. Not only because of the rich rewarding musical textures but also because no other music does the things it does to mind, body and soul. The release comes as the individual tracks plus on the second cd via an invigorating mix care off Spiritual South.

Release: May 25



Phil Weeks
My Way

PW06_PhilWeeks_MyWay_ArtworkFrontThe sixth instalment of this limited edition vinyl only series sees the Robsoul main man deliver one of his finest to date. Its got all the usual trademarks from the razor tight drums right down the tension inducing sample loop, which in this case playfully reveals itself in-between the tough punctuating stabs. Possibly, yet maybe even slightly unfortunately, it’s not actually a cover of the Paul Anka classic but none the less this extremely powerful groove builds perfectly until Phil Weeks drops his own vocal into the rhythm. And it all works a treat. The clue I guess is when he talks about meeting ‘Mr Blow’ so you can draw your own conclusions from that. But just in case an excellent Instrumental and an Acapella version are also included.

release: November 29

sound clips:


Ugly Drums
Basement Workout EP
Fifty Fathoms Deep

uglyLove this production from Steffen Baldo aka Ugly Drums which transports you right back to the source with its four equally gritty grooves. Beginning with the cool, looped funk of Changing Ways the EP then moves quickly into the dark percussion fuelled Well Well. The timely tones of the superb Don’t Let Life (Passing By) follows with typically unrelenting drums and sample stabs, accompanied this time by a breathy Latin styled vocal, getting right underneath your skin. The deeper, stripped back moodiness of the apt Basement Workout completes the third release from the label notably.  More please.

release: November 11


Boe & Zak
Looking For Love
The Classic Music Company

Looking For Love 1500 x 1500It doesn’t matter how many times I hear this bassline. It never fails. Based around the Goody Goody classic (in my book anyway) from 1978 and now with added 2013 punch via extra sassy percussion this simply sounds great. Acting as an alias for Classic regular Matthew Styles this uncomplicated workout breathes fresh life into the commanding string lines and that infamous, choppy guitar. A Dub features more of the electric piano for good measure and a bit more of the groove into the bargain with a useful Bonus Beats version too – come to think of it that not something you see so much of these days. More please.

release: November 11



Gentle Help 1500 x 1500James Curd
Gentle Help
The Classic Music Company

You can tell its summer time simply by listening to this. It’s happy, funky music that sounds equally refreshing day, noon or night as James Curd’s Disco propulsion proves to be so easy to groove too it may hurt. Indeed, bassline syncopation like this was built to dance to. That of course, plus punchy drums and vocals along with some rather sassy Fender Rhodes prove this to be all but irresistible. The Black Madonna Less Gentle Jam then adds extra depth to the bottom-end while replaying the keys over throbbing beats for a different angle.

release: July1


House Of 12
12 Records

Cover_12R03_UpdateThere’s something most intriguing about this collection of music that so blatantly references the past yet feels so comfortable in the (sometimes) summer sunshine. Martin Bell’s Helmut Spargle kicks things off with a production that is reminiscent of classic Nu Groove with playful jazzy piano and synths sounding deep and tempting. Rare People House Brand are next with Life like which neatly blends fuzzy bass together with more classy Deep House instrumentation and chopped up vocals. Jacy, hits that timeless Ronald Burrell vibe once again perfectly striking sensuous, ambient chords alongside carefully crafted percussion and echoed flute on Touch Me. While Deep88 finish on the raw edged Me, Myself and an Mpc combining heavy-duty beats with improvised, atmospheric synths.

release: mid/end June


Julian M.
Sample Road EP
Catwash Records

CWR033ATrust DJ W!LD’s defiantly underground imprint to deliver music that teases you into submission. Julian M. returns to the label with four new cuts of sampling delight that manage to cross the barriers of familiarity and innovation with the emphasis being on machine drums. It’s really a case of take your pick but the two tracks I love on here are the Tom Tom driven We Are Young whose sharp beats only let loose once the emotive string led sample fully drops midway. And the excellent title track which places superlative two chord piano structures against abrasive beats yet still feels soulfully emotional on the breakdown. Stunning. The remaining Boogie Too as the words suggest ignites hot Disco over sizzling hi-hats coming complete with vocals that will satisfy the party dancefloor. Leaving, Duplicate to get moodier with further strange keys and grinding drums.

release: July 16


Real Connoisseur
Jungle Jakarta EP
Purp & Soul

Purp007ArtworkWhat I like about Real Connoisseur aka Conor Lloyd’s latest production is that it doesn’t perform to expectation. For starters its heady blend of D&B drums and deeper House atmosphere’s places Jungle Jakarta in a genre all of its own, and these days that’s quite something. Not only that but its imaginative arrangement of sounds keeps you hypnotised throughout, so if you’re thinking exits outside of safe boxes then this production will most definitely appeal. First rate remixes come care of Chaos In The CBD who give it a heavier House edge and Artifact who perk it all up with Garage energy. Second track, You Don’t Love explores moodier vibes with expansive tech stabs and throbbing bass to complete.

release: July 22


Dakota Soul
From The Country To The City
Waxadisc Records

Excellent initial release from Waxadisc and just a taster from the due late August debut album by Dakota Soul. I’ll simply use the words Jazzy and Sunshine to describe this but don’t take me words for it. Play the link below and soak it up for yourself!



UndergroundFablesVol1_ArtworkVarious Artists
Underground Fables Vol.1
Underground Audio

If you are not already acquainted with The Underground (DJ agency, Management Company and webzine) then you really should be, especially in light of this initial release on their brand new imprint: Underground Audio. A total of eight tracks comprise Volume one featuring the likes of Finebassen and Dale Howard whose Show Me How and Questions respectively sound suitably invigorating and forward thinking for a new label. JOBE’s excellent Something About Disco which as you can guess from the title explodes in bass fuelled delight accompanied by some, quite frankly, stunning vocal editing. The quality continues throughout as you will experience via the sound clips below, with the remaining music selected from far and wide, ranging from deeper to the funkier, while the emphasis always proudly on the word Underground.

released February 28 vinyl. 25th march (digital)


jammhot press pic 1Jammhot
Move Forward EP
Saints & Sonnets

Jammhot aka Matt Mason, Jamie Adams and Akara Etteh (as you might expect from Huxley and Jimmy Posters label) deliver first rate House Music that plays with your imagination just as much as it moves your body. Chrysalis opens with emotive strings, a playful jazzy bass and a haunting sense of melody that fire up the senses with a lush, cinematic production that is all about tone and texture. Wicked Walk eases the tempo letting its funky bassline provide the energy as another creative selection of sounds adorn yet another accomplished recording. Times When It Was Good, finishes the trio off on a more atmospheric note with crisp drums and yet more of that tasty bass in action.

release: March 11



Cat Walk 1500 x 1500Marc Askhen feat SOS
Cat Walk
The Classic Music Company

You can’t escape the sheer sassiness of Classic’s latest release. In fact, I dare you to try not to move to this effortlessly funky, and extremely infectious bassline, that is all about melody and punch. Marc Ashken’s debut for the label gets frisky with vocal treatments and a blatant subject matter that will have you hot under the collar – X-Rated. Love the simplicity of drums which command your attention with only the bare minimum of extra sounds to pad it out. The Zombie Disco Squad Sleeay Ze Remx gets darker with sleazier notation and strident cowbell, leaving the Acid Jam version to fire the whole thing up circa 1988/2013 while getting freaky in the process.

release: March 11



Enzo Siragusa Press Pic 5Various
Fusic Vol.2
Fuse London

Next in line from Enzo Siragusa’s Fuse imprint is Volume Two with further adventures into deeper territory opening with his and Leifko ‘In My Head’. Built around an insistent story telling voiceover which is backed up by an uncomplicated arrangement of sizzling percussion and unnerving synths this quickly becomes completely compelling. Next is Seb Zito’s Sunday Morning which proceeds to seamlessly build the tension with tough, tribal beats before dropping a fierce bassline alongside surreal voices. Rich NxT ‘Flux Two’ finishes with further unsettling vocals alongside flourishes of percussion and heavy stabs all feeling notably atmospheric.

release: March 11



I Saw You Last Night
Tactal Hots Music

This reminds me of one of my mid eighties residencies and if you’re of a certain age then this nostalgia will hit you all over again. Hi Energy played an important role in shaping the landscape of the early decade’s nightlife with the likes of Patrick Cowley and Bobby Orlando et al producing exciting/ vibrant up-tempo sounds that sprung from 70’s Disco. Wainscott takes the cue from that source, gives it a 2013 twist and plays it straight with tough syncopation, swirling fx and pumping percussion coupled with melodic vocoder vocals. Three different versions follow with a tougher Hi-NRG mix also feeling typically driving.

release: March 4



Classic through the eyes of: Severino
The Classic Music Company

For one of the most emotive intros around please press play. Nail’s 1997 classic ‘Time For Change’ opens with timely piano notes and warm pads to set the soulful scene on what then soon alters to something altogether darker, deeper: LIT ‘Brown Dwarf’ (Hyena Stomp Red Giant Mix). Not a problem of course as the music proceeds to traverse the full scope of House taking in everyone from Robbie Hardkiss to Rob Mello, while winding up at Brett Johnson’s extremely sublime ‘Slow Down Baby’ (Severino Remix 2012) – yet another album exclusive. As you’d expect from the label the music doesn’t easily slip into any particular cliché, which along with the diverse nature of Severino Panzetta’s stellar selection only lends the album its unique strength.  Recommended.

release: November 5


Odd Parents & Maceo Plex
Get Enough
Leftroom Limited

This Odd Parents and Maceo Plex combination does of course hit all the right buttons when it comes to hard-hitting House music, twisting together computer-funk rhythms from one extreme to another. The obscure nod to melody, introduced towards the end, comes via a sinister sounding vocal loop which lets the acid synthesizers sizzle away underneath while feeling never less than funky. Mark E supplies two versions with his ‘Remix’ giving it a spacey mood, plus the stunning ‘Future Doom Remix’ which delves deep into classic keyboard sounds over the course ten minutes, and has that rare quality of transporting you somewhere else entirely via the use of sound alone.

release: November 5

Francesca Lombardo
Eyes Of Nature

Francesca Lombardo’s effervescent journey into sound is nothing if not completely captivating, relying upon strange evocations and weird twists of fate. Eyes, is an amazing piece of music that stands well apart from most other releases that you will hear in the coming months, not least of all because it speaks its own language in terms of originality and use of instrumentation. It crosses acid rhythms along with dark pads, invigorating beats and the occasional vocal treatment speaking in volumes. Wander and Wonder, featuring Julien Riachi’s delicious voice then adds a funkier edge to the array of pulsating sounds, and again locks you into another excellent production.  When words are not enough…

release: November 5


No Equal Sides
2020 Vision

No Equal Sides is one of those knowingly satisfying tracks which are tailor made for the dancefloor. It’s a simple enough premise but a devastatingly effective one none-the-less as deep, pulsating bass builds over reviving keys and shuffling beats to induce the desired effect. What more can be said: this works! Next, Tunnel Vision begins with sci-fi electronics but then develops into an unexpected, and very impressive vocal cut which you will find yourself returning too repeatedly. Dished out over smoky, broken beats and reversed chords these spoken words are direct enough to offset the spine-tingling atmosphere created by the music. In Principle, finishes by again playing with shuffled rhythms, although this time aided by moodier stabs and techno bass that sit strangely somehow in-between jazz and funk.

release:  November 9