I love this release of sound. Not only does it vibrate with forward thinking energy but it also celebrates its own awareness of musicality and vitality. My Friendly Fire opens with additive hi-hats, treated stabs which undulate in truly funky ways, plus an immediate sense of the moment. Next, Takes Time again serves up evocative percussion this time married to deep, pulsing bass leaving To Convince to explore the interplay between the rhythm of live instrumentation and the expression of electronics perfectly.
Celebrating big numbers here as Dana Ruh’s inspired label is now ten years old, plus this is one of three new twelve inch singles to form part of their 40th release: Past / Present / Future. Vid’s tantalising Camelie begins the ‘Present’ section via this 2014 number that still resounds as beautifully spine-tingling with its haunting piano motifs dancing delicately around machine fuelled drums. Next is Oshana’s outstanding Different Places, Different Spaces which defies time and logic like a maze of brilliant musical ideas that you never tire of. Andrea Fiorito’s Black then ends the record by contrasting with brisker drum rhythms alongside talking sound effects and tasteful, darker atmospherics. All recordings are excellent.
Always guaranteed to be tastefully executed Buzzin’ Fly once more delivers thoughtful music for your listening pleasure. If you’re already familiar with Dana Ruh’s Brouqade imprint then you will be pleased to hear four tracks go to make up this fine EP. Opening with a haunting vocal refrain Kickboxing then combines light and shade in equal measure through crisp drums and warm pulsating undertones, with the cumulative effect being a captivating piece of music which you may well lose yourself in. This, reworks Acid House for 2011 and of course references the past but still manages to feel funky and contemporary. What I’m Telling You returns to deeper atmospheres with another intense and expansive feeling production reaching over nine minutes. Leaving, That to perk things up again with more Acid overtones and classic sounding percussion injecting plenty of spice. 9
Brian Logstrup’s two tracker for Look Ahead Records continues the labels theme of good quality House music nicely. Cansolo has the sort of drums which were prevalent in the early nineties ie they swing! Indeed the whole thing feels like something from that era but then so much does these days, however the organ and techy bassline both join to produce an irresistibly funky affair which you can’t help but move too. Second track Mala feels more contemporary with soundtrack sounding speech adding to the tension building strings as the tough bassline and smart arrangement work extremely well together. Put it this way it was immediately replayed with the volume constantly going up…8
Fair to say that this acts as a trip down memory lane that stretches beyond House music to Balearic gems such as It’s Immaterial ‘Driving Away from Home’ and features many ‘hard to find’ remixes which came to define the sound of the UK from the late eighties to the early nineties. The list of who was who reads like a dream from The Beloved to Leftfield to The Grid, and includes seminal versions by Andrew Weatherall and David Morales amongst many others. This compilation plays for people who feel the need to relive their youth as much as it does for people yet to live it. Bill Brewster’s wise words provide the notes to accompany the two CD set on the first of much more to come (I hope). 9
Lisbon based producer Vahagns’ sultry infusion of deep bass and pounding four/ four beats fuse together perfectly to ignite Buzzin’ Fly’s aptly timed August release. Substitute the word deep for intense here as the undulating synth stabs build into some kind of ecstasy and then transform more subtly into acid tweaks. Hypnotic in the extreme this beautifully tuned instrumental exudes perfect pitch. Brouqade Records own Dana Ruh adds reverberated drums and old school claps to her uber cool take on the affair with second remix from Nick Chacona adding partial melodic sense to it all. 8
Deep yet twisted. Dark and definitely dangerous. Those are the only ways to fittingly describe Guvernment resident Ovi M’s excellent EP for Manchester Underground Music. Although of course hailing from Toronto the label is nothing if not cosmopolitan in scope. Opening with Ashfault, which immediately dispenses with formalities via heavy sub-bass, nasty drums and insistent voices this proves to be intense House Music for extremes. DJ Meri aka Cylon then takes it all to another level with all sorts of twisted sounds going off , while Lisum does much more of the same, as indeed does Marium, with the apt Links 2 Past finishing by touching on Sneak’s heavy-duty Disco. 9
Karol XVII & MB Valence ‘Vintage Box 3’ Loco Records
By my far my favorite in the series of sumptuous music from choice producers Karol XVII & MB Valence number three most effectively combines contemporary style with past influences. The interestingly titled Cottage Cheese Dumplings references jazzy keys and live sounding drums which give it a supremely funky feel perfect for the bar and/ or dancefloor, although preferably somewhere hot and sunny. The Rusty Piano features an almost Murk styled bassline for good measure and climaxes with a bizarrely oddball treatment of said piano. Muzzik then has the vocal of the same name add a human touch to commanding funky rhythms which again put you in mind of somewhere else, perhaps even the windy city. 8
Hohle comprises of Leicester’s City Fly residents Kieran Clare and Lloyd Lindo along with notable sound engineer Francis Sevier. This feels like one the labels’ most accomplished releases to date on Martijn’s already quality imprint, so that’s probably saying something. The Original plays an infectious melancholy vocal over warm keys and pulsating rhythms all of which are undeniably impressive. Moodmusic’s Sasse provides an excellent remix packed with punchy beats and exaggerated claps driving the vocal once again to distraction and back. The Submantra version then picks it up with more energy injected into the drums and filtered vocal treatments, while Martijn’s own remix surpasses himself in terms of his creative use of sounds and their arrangement. 9
Soulmelt ‘Spot The Difference’ Celestial Recordings
That’s the thing about House Music sometimes it doesn’t necessarily have to sound new to feel right. And in this case it scores on both points. If filtered tough repetitive grooves with uplifting sentiments are your style then this plays just for you. Same Difference comes as an Original plus a deeper Nohijo edit with both versions featuring more and less of the gorgeous trumpet. Rising Tides, not surprisingly, has as touch of the beach about it delivering shimmering atmospheres across tough beats while Daydreamer’s lovely pads and trippy voices feel dangerously close to retro to finish off this excellent release. 9
As soon as the bassline hits you know this means business. Gentlemen of a certain age with a fondness for Giorgio Moroder will love the Electroviolin Mix of Pecto instantly as it transports you back and forth, to then and now, with sublime ease. Searing synths and irrepressible drums complete the picture on this almighty energetic instrumental. Backlash gets nasty with another storming succession of electro beats and harsh stabs leaving you little time to catch your breath… 9
Holy s***t I love this. Following on the epic ‘Bring back the drums’ with Kobbe comes this latest for Kult. Subtlety isn’t exactly the strong point here as techno clashes with Huggo Rizzo’s undoubtedly twisted (that’s in a nice way) mind to produce this rollercoaster ride of electronic beats and original sounds, complimented of course by one almighty breakdown. There’s also the remix of Cytric ‘Filthy Beats’ with Unik which provides a quirky trip through more unexplained notes and another crazed breakdown. 9