The seemingly eternal equation underscoring House Music is so perfectly realised here. The House Stepper’s Mix of Body Moves features all necessary elements in abundance with its fiery selection of hot bass, thumping kick drums plus staccato organ and smouldering vocals. Simple and very much to the point. The sexier ( if that’s the right word) version comes in the shape of the NYC Mix via its rush of stereophonic effects and killer bassline which again underpin the demanding vocal line. Finally, the Reprise adds a splash of future technology to the arrangement while history is touched upon care off classic Chicago riffs alongside a contrasting more typically soulful vocal.
In one sense you already know this record intimately. It bears all the requisite hallmarks of soulful good fortune alongside an affirmation that, despite the sense of underlying heartache, just about everything is going to be alright. Reflecting a distant past the bittersweet melodies featured here are the perfect foil to what’s going on today and served as it is with such resolutely intent drums, robust bass and the swirling sting of strings this proves a perfect storm of sound and imagination.
Release: December 6
You just know from the second the chords play that you’re going to feel right at home here. JT Donaldson’s reassuringly familiar blend of soulful keys, jazzy beats and warmly emotive vocals care of Liv.e, are all that’s required to produce the desired result. In fact, it’s a time tested tradition that sounds as good in any decade, and certainly as the piano is struck you nod with pleasing knowledge. HOUSE MUSIC.
Release: March 22
You may recognise Ooh Wee from earlier in the year but believe me chances are these fresh versions will make you jump to attention all over again. Beginning with Norm Talley’s excellent, outstanding remix which pitches crazed, jazzy piano inflections against harsh, splashing hi-hats alongside commanding voices plus strident kicks and cowbell. Simple and yet utterly explosive. Next, SoulPhiction reinterprets via smoky electric piano, more soulful hints of vocal amid a generally warmer rendition which also introduces the enviable Disco reference.
Release: November 16
And who can resist the charm of The Music. Hifi Sean has positively steamrolled through delivering his own unique stamp on House while adding much needed flair to the genre, and reacquainting the populace with the word Song. This however feels that bit earthier, not least of all because Celeda’s commanding vocal delivery, but also because of the classic sample and likewise heavy-duty bassline igniting all and sundry. At a more timely 6 minutes this requires repeated play, either as the killer Dub or as part of the aforementioned message.
Just ahead of the digital release of Eli Escobar’s typically wonderful album 2018 is no doubt set to surprise us all. What’s perhaps most rewarding of all here, apart from the sheer quality of the music, is the range and depth with which Eli Escobar explores avenues of sound. Whether that’s the downtempo echoes which charge the poignantly titled, Interlude (American Sorrow) or the crazy ambience generated via The people Intro, through to the life-affirming Body and Soul this is music to inspire you to celebrate life (up’s and downs). The fiery Handz Up resplendent with a â€˜z’ tears up the dancefloor with a blaze of syncopated urgency (hear below), contrasted by the beautiful chords which adorn Goin’ On? proving that there’s much more to be said about the soulful qualities engaged than perhaps thought. An excellent album from start to finish. Almost a classic if you were judging this as a full-length player (like in times past) telling a story of experiences and a city life lived in all its abundance.
Vinyl release date: 03 November 2017
Digital release date: 19 January 2018
This ticks all the boxes for me. Informed by the past yet diving straight into the future with rigours delight. If you still want to call it House Music rather than a mutation into something else then here is your starting point. Sizzling with electronic possibility, sleazy intention although capturing a sense of communal spirit, peaking at Acid attitude while reaching spine-tingling moments is the artists’ succinct five plus minutes of gorgeous ecstasy: After Dark. Conversely, Look Don’t Touch provides more brutal to the point movements again sequencing a past drenched in Roland 303 plus a deft dancefloor sensibility, along with Ted Rogers’ human vocal touch. Leaving the more retrospective Reckless to delve back into late night, early morning rhythms that fire hot snares and caustic notation right at you.
Pulling no punches whatsoever, which is fine by me, Personal Slave not surprisingly sees a return to that time honoured traditional of downright sleaze that used to emanate from the eighties. What’s not love, from the opening commanding Toms which pound out irresistible rhythms straight through to the harsh Acid attitude and vocal dexterity of Charles McCloud’s delirious voice on the self-serving Drum Machine Mix. Next in line comes the Matrixxman Dungeon Dub which explores avenues in Techno, leaving the relatively restrained original to get nasty with probing bass and fizzy electrics.
Vinyl release: 07 April 2017
Digital release: 21 April 2017
Horse Meat Disco’s very own Severino breaks loose from the collective to deliver this exceptionally tasty House number that for those of us old enough (to know better) succinctly joins the notes between past and present. Powered by an addictive, chugging bassline and enhanced by various keyboard and guitar hits this striking production also comes fully charged with Princess Magnifique’s cool vocal intoning a â€˜do what I want to do’ attitude to life. The remix is care of Eli Escobar who of course blends his own distinctive Disco flavour into the affair with energetic instrumentation lending the voice a different angle to play with, while playing the guitar with a varying lick. Is there a better release to start the party with.
Returning after a summer break Magazine Sixty reappears refreshed to bring you the hottest, slightly wired, music to devour all at your own leisureâ€¦
Single of the Week
Again taking its cue from the past and reigniting your love for those timely House sounds around the turn of the nineties, Thunda never the less keeps the spotlight firmly focused on the future too.Â Fuelled by a hypnotic combination of deep beats and bass this charmingly also features improvised Flute and an array of commanding keys and chords that all weave their certain magic across John Mendlesohn’s rather tasty vocal delivery. Two great remixes compliment the original firstly from HNNY who drop the tempo for a different feel, and from Terrence Parker who conversely injects a rise in energy via Detroit stabs inevitably intensifying it all.
Release: October 12
Patrick Kunkel & 212fahrenheit
Never Down EP
Blend It Records
Fancy that. The first record in my mailbox today and it’s a gem. The third release from the label sees Patrick Kunkel & 212fahrenheit deliver succinct yet exciting sounds that all at once feel funky, emotive and come with a pronounced sting in the tail. Slashes of snare punctuate the rhythm while haunting voices colour the arrangement alongside cool basslines and cutting synth lines on the captivating title track remixed superbly by Danny Serrano. The Original version itself features the expanded vocal amidst meandering sounds that again command your focus. Next, Frivolo has rougher bass and a sense of fresh musical flair that makes this also well worth your attention. An excellent remix appears from M.in whose pulverising low end makes for impressive noise with the electronics getting progressively fizzier.
Man With No Shadow
Three kicking tracks go to make up this latest from the mysterious Man With No Shadow. It’s good you get the nod to the past’s influence without trying to simply replay it by adding your own expression into the equation. And that’s just what the opening Urge does and does so in some style. Pounding beats, soaring vocal delays shooting around the stereo and shimmering tension building arpeggio’s do all the rest on this commanding, fiery arrangement of contemporary House Music. The likewise Money Talks follows on with the tough rhythms aided this time by signature stabs accompanied by taught held-string lines that cumulate into a chime led frenzy. The first rate tribal infused Tom Ross ends with a scorching flurry of heavy Toms and darker pulses that again capture their essence perfectly.
Kalyde ft. Youth
Daring to be different and featuring the cutting melodies of Youth proclaiming the record’s title loud and proud the original mix of Good Life deceptively greets you with gritty kick drums and a dark wash of atmospheric synthesizer. And then dances intriguingly in-between Soulful and Techno with a deliberate ease that retains a sense of musicality coupled with a blaze of sheer dancefloor attitude on this stunning production. South London Ordnance Remix then dispense with any melodic niceties to deliver a more driving take, leaving final track Last Seven to twist touches of vocal over further unrelenting electronics.
Release: October 23