reviews:78

joelJoel Alter
Third Strike EP
Bass Culture

This latest and most excellent set of tracks from Joel Alter are my favourites from the producer to date. No Way captures a melancholy yet uplifting mood which not only pulls on the heartstrings but also hits you hard with a heavy-duty bottom end that is all but nasty. Opposites attract. The Drum again attacks the senses with rough bass, atmospheric voices and an almost jazzy attitude. Ed Davenport then tackles No Way by turning it upside down with harder stabs and fiery snares talking centre stage. Jitterbug finishes with a swing in the tail and striking chords again playing your emotions without words.

release: March 4

http://bassculturerecords.com/

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

https://www.facebook.com/bassculturerecords

 

Neville Watson PackshotNeville Watson
One Four Green EP
Teng

It’s almost as if you just need to hear the bassline on its own and you would be satisfied, although when the kick and claps hit it all makes perfect sense. Love the way this is so effortlessly funky, uncomplicated yet imaginatively musical as the chords evolve and the Acid gets slightly twisted. The original version of One Four Green was released on Andy Blake’s World Unknown imprint in 2011 but makes a very welcome return today proving that the past can also sound very much like the future. Remixes come from Deep Space Orchestra giving it more Techno feel, to Perseus Traxx who playfully rework the original elements, leaving Jonny Aux to break it all down to the bare essentials. Essential.

release: March 18

hhttps://www.facebook.com/TengRecords

 

unreleased traxxStefan Braatz Pres. Crack Jack
Unreleased Traxx EP
SoulDeep Inc. Records

Stefan Braatz’s EP for SoulDeep comprises of four equally impressive tracks that will reignite that classic sound of Chicago to you all over again. Yes it’s a homage but one that feels fresh with two tracks: Jacks Nation and especially Acid Music each offering their own blistering take on the Acid sound of the late eighties. Chicago Skyline meanwhile delves into a deeper landscape with moody keys and tastefully spoken words telling a story as does the next production T.R.A.X.X which also probes similar territory.

https://www.facebook.com/stefan.braatz.1

http://www.beatport.com/release/unreleased-traxx-e-p/1031327

https://soundcloud.com/dave-t/stefan-braatz-pres-crack-jack

 

Various
Colour Series: Black 10
Freerange Records

FRCD31 Booklet outside Black CDHaving inevitably reached the colour Black the series now enters its tenth year with the same impact with which they began. The music is still first-rate, soulful yet provocative and as you play through the numbers you’ve got to say there is no sign of filler here. Opening with the Nebraska remix of Salvatore Freda’s Luv Can’t Hurt you get the sense of history compacted by a contemporary flair that defines the label so easily. And, as you ease into the proceeding Set Me Free by Willie Graff & Tuccillo you know you’re in good company. Moving between deeper moments, Tech and Disco and most points in between the selection features the labels releases over the past year, along with some new exclusives that notably finish with Mark Hand’s sublime bass-warming Don’t Take It All Away. A second CD then sees everything blended neatly together for your extended listening pleasure.

release: April 8

http://www.freerangerecords.co.uk/

 

kitsuneVarious Artists
Parisien 3
Kitsune

The third album for review this week is by far the most diverse. And number 3 in the Parisien series continues its dedication to exposing fresh French talent. Put it this way if you know of a nightclub that plays such an exciting and wildly imaginative set of music then please let us know? From Toys low-slung and emotive ‘Noise’ straight through to the cosmopolitan Disco of Cinema and Le Crayon, and on to the chiming guitars of You, the compilation breathes fresh life into jaded eyes. Just to highlight the variation FAUVE ‘Kane’ pushes the envelope still further with haunting sentiments and retro guitars feeling cinematic and tastefully mysterious, while the finale from Saint Michel ‘Don’t Bother’ does likewise except with synthesizers accompanied by a more melancholy twist. Next please.

release: February 25

http://www.kitsune.fr/journal/2013/02/downloads/kitsune-parisien-3-you-color/

 

ojaysThe O’Jays
Ship Ahoy
bbr/ Philadelphia International Records

The really don’t make them like this anymore which is why it’s such a joy to listen to Big Break Records Expanded Anniversary Edition all over again. Forty years after its original release and the power of the music and sheer exaltation of the vocals still remain very much intact. There probably couldn’t be a more apt opener that the energetic ‘Put Your Hands Together’ but that’s not to forget the album’s title is about Slavery – the title track being particularly poignant and you only need to look closely at the cover art too. That said you’d be a fool to ignore powerhouse grooves such as the timely message of For The Love Of Money or the original version of Now That We Found Love that sees the ballad sound very different to the later Third World version. Now digitally remastered you can soak up all those soulful strings and horns in their full glory via the original sublime Gamble & Huff production, and hear where dance music was pointing to next. For the full picture and story sleeve notes by PopMatters Christian John Wikane are invaluable.

release: February 25

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/bigbreak-exd.asp?id=3992

 

[1974] The O’Jays – For The Love Of Money (Soul Train) from Nemesis on Vimeo.

 

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reviews:42

Moodymanc
State EP
Centric Music

Moodymanc surpasses himself with two new tracks and a variety of mixes to once again tempt your taste buds into action. The self-explanatory Glasgow relives its vigorous namesake with a heavy clash of bass notes hitting you hard while an imaginative selection of electronics sizzle away against a blast of Sax. The excellent Elef remix then replays the city with a sprinkling of melancholy keys and gorgeous, sumptuous bass which all culminate into a notably heavenly production. Title track, State progresses matters  further still as Kuntri Ranks intones wise words over a superlative combination of undulating pads and thoughtfully crafted notes. Pryor adds cool tribal flavor to his version, and the Al Calavicci Tea Bag Remix endlessly builds the sense of anticipation over choice fx. Leaving Artform’s Jamie Anderson to twist and transgress the barriers between Techno and Dub and sound completely invigorating in the process. 9

release: Vinyl 26/3. Download 16/4/12

http://www.juno.co.uk/products/state-ep/451053-01/

www.centricmusic.co.uk

 

Phonetic Presents
Miami Night & Day: Mixed by Rob Roar
Phonetic Recordings

Following on from their Ibiza inspired compilation comes this version set for Miami. In ways that doesn’t actually matter for as someone once said, good music is good music – whatever the time and place. And to give the game away Disc 1 (Poolside and Sunset) really doesn’t require you to engage your imagination to guess what going on. But better than any relaxation technique this hits that spot especially when you factor in the March sunshine here in the UK. The music is of course down-tempo, picturesque and tastefully reassuring coming from the likes of Michael E ‘Primiera Vez’ and KrayZ ‘Suite 212’. The second Disc transports the mood into Rob Roar’s natural environment with up-tempo party beats featuring the Michael Gray re-working of Sterling Void’s ‘Runaway Girl’ amongst the electro flair and ends up at Max Linen’s hedonistic anthem ‘Flashback’. 8

http://www.traxsource.com/index.php?act=show&fc=tpage&cr=titles&cv=145377

http://phoneticrecordings.com/

 

The O’Jays
We’ll Never Forget You (The Imperial Years 1963-66)
Shout Records

Chances are, like myself, you’ve always thought of the O’Jays in terms of their classic seventies output on Philadelphia International Records from I Love Music straight through to Backstabers’. However, if digging a little deeper to reveal where that music came from appeals then this surely is a crucial starting point. The compilation contains The O’Jays complete releases for Imperial Records which began in 1963, so you can expect a blend of styles both vocally and musically, touching upon the cornerstones of Rhythm and Blues and Doo-wop’s influence. As they evolved through the sixties into what became termed Soul music the arrangements begin to get a little sweeter, though the earthy production never feels less than strictly sixties i.e. Analogue and grainy. Putting all of this in context are John Reed’s fascinating sleeve notes which spell everything out in black and white as the music aptly finishes on Time Is On My Side. 8

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/

 

 

 

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reviews:37

Johnny D Presents
‘Disco Jamms’
BBE Records

I could simply list the music on here and you would demand it all. But let’s just say: Ashford & Simpson ‘One More Try, The O’Jays ‘This Time Baby’, Lafleur ‘Dub Till We Drop, The System ‘It’s Passion’ and that’s only half of the story. The remainder includes Klein & MBO, B Beat Girls and Kasso which all sum up into an energy packed blast through the styles and sounds of the late seventies and early-ish eighties. Never a dull moment as they say as Johnny D excitedly cuts-up and mixes the beats with dedication that is heartfelt and inspiring. The mixed version of the CD even comes complete with starry voice overs, although nothing could really come close to the sublime bliss of the penultimate Ultra High Frequency ‘We’re On The Right Track’. The range and influences on offer here are never less than impressive and the combination of song, electronics’ and real instrumentation is clearly a lesson in love – fast and slow. 9

release 21 February

http://www.bbemusic.com/data.pl?release=BBE192CDG_UK

https://www.facebook.com/HenryStreetMusic

https://twitter.com/#!/JohnnyDBrooklyn

 

Pete Dafeet
‘Stutter’
Lost My Dog

Eight years in and with his eighth release for the label perhaps not surprisingly the Lost My Dog co-founder produces something rather excellent in that old-school House kind of way with peak-time stabs and razor sharp beats all feeling very dancefloor – the suitably classic claps and moody pads fill in the gaps just like they used too. Moodymanc then picks up the pace with more staccato stabs and rushing hi-hats giving the remix typical intensity, aided by a flourish of funky timbale it all becomes peak-time business with the introduction of the held strings which then sweep alongside the deep vocals. The d-d-Drum Dub follows playing out the percussion against sizzling background tension on his second and equally excellent remix. Next up is Rush which does just that with more fuzzy Strictly styled stabs and strings sounding sensuous, while Peace La Paz dishes out 909 beats and more deliciously juicy basslines. 8

 

release: 20 February 2012

http://www.lostmydog.net/

https://www.facebook.com/lostmydog

 

Uppercut
‘Turn The Music To Your Head’
Kult Records

More prime-time action from Kult as Montreal’s Dj Uppercut makes his return to the fold with this shinny sounding production. Driven along by an insistent electro riff this builds and drops with prowess and is supported by heavily treated voices and perky keys. Remixes come from Mikel Curcio and the excellent Zoltan Kontes who’s perfectly named 4hour dub version delivers a typically devastating tribal workout which Kult do oh-so-well. Love the Fx, love the Drums. 9

 

http://www.beatport.com/release/turn-the-music-to-your-head/864546

http://www.facebook.com/kultrecords 

http://www.kult.com

 

Zee & Eli
‘I Wanna Dance’
Flumo Recordings

If you inhabited the early nineties then ‘I Wanna Dance The Night Away’ was one of many sampled vocal refrains that made a repeated appearance at the time, however it makes a most welcome return now in all its detuned glory. Sounding all the more exciting played against this brutally simplistic bassline and moody keys the mix also builds up space-age fx along with a repetition you won’t want to escape from. Mind Games proceeds with more enticing deepness combining classic drums sounds and chords that again get feverish with a well timed arrangement. Finishing off for the Spanish label is Visit From God which breaks up the beats while delivering big P-Funk attitude. 8

release: 22 February 2012

http://soundcloud.com/kahua-music/sets/zee-eli-flumo

http://www.facebook.com/ZeeandEli

http://www.flumo.com/eng/pages/home

 

Want to Dance The Night Away?

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