You could write a wealth of words to celebrate Rheji Burrell’s contribution to music as part of The Burrell Brothers. Equally you could press play and listen. In ways this is exactly what I expected to hear. Maybe exactly what I wanted to hear from him. Four pieces of House Music plain and simple, just as god intended. Each highlights the rhythmic purpose of drums and bass, each excites notation with deft, soulful intent as vocals dance alongside a selection of uncomplicated yet purely focused elements. Perpetuity 1, works best for me because those organ chords ignite a series of memories not easily forgotten and a feeling that this music is important beyond a simple succession of notes.
This was all over 1995 from Frankie Knuckles at The Sound Factory Bar to just about everyone else. And while it’s easy to cite tired nostalgia when it comes to remixing signature records from the past in this particular case Darius Syrossian has achieved something special in retaining the originals pulsating essence, yet making it feel contemporary. The addition of the warm wash of pads, fresh drums alongside the hot buzz of stabs solves the vexed question of how you update something so uniquely recognisable without losing what made it so notable in the first place. David Penn approaches from another angle with funkier bass, beats and a jazzier flair complimenting the trademark cowbells as an excitable, piano-punctuated breakdown will transport your emotions to other places.
Release: May 1
Explore the records history: https://defected.com/news/post/the-story-of-ultra-flava
I’ve always loved the charged Hi-Energy of this Disco (dare I say, Classic) release from 1979. Big, bold syncopation drives the sizzling intensity of this number all the way as Jacobs delightful vocals ignite the airwaves. A chorus full of melody hits you as every drop of emotion of squeezed till the pips squeak. A re-edit courtesy of the legend that is Dimitri From Paris breathes a fresh take of it all but either way, a thing of beauty.
Release: Vinyl. November 3
Excellent new single from the Berlin duo sees brutal electronics transform into almost beautiful notation as brooding possibilities reveal themselves as sleazy temptations. Words remain important here as Fadila’s devilish vocal delivery impacts all the more while the sounds bump and grind below creating tense, gritty atmosphere’s to play with. Alternatively, try the Stripped Back Version which probes via the bassline aided by a dazzling array of effects and cleverly calculated arrangement.
Revisiting rather than reviving this often overlooked number from the past is always refreshing to experience. That and the fact that the original 1986 version remains intact testifying to the strength of the song plus its vocal delivery, alongside the proud production by other vital figures in House history: Boyd Jarvis and Timmy Regisford, while not to forget the essential tag line ‘Mastered by Herbie Powers’. Nobody’s Business was a 1920s blues standard by Porter Grainger and while Boyd Jarvis lifted the refrain and changing some of the lyrics its essence still reverberates from then to now. Typifying the ‘Garage’ sound of the period which was subsequently exported to the UK a couple of years later via now classic compilations the track boasts all of those hallmarks loud and proud: from the rolling drum machines to the soaring soulfully charged vocals – just close your eyes and who knows where your imagination could end up.
Release: July 28
The thing with House Music and its ability to connect with your past is something that will always remain. This, being one of very many, great productions from Ralphi Rosario is a case in point and now receives fresh fuel to revitalise your imagination. I’ll cut straight to the chase as Légo’s Dub from the original release remains as brutally beautiful as always, rocking the bassline and of course Linda Clifford’s achingly, rousing vocals. However, back to the new versions and Dr Packer’s Disco inflected rhythms add a sense of soulful occasion to the affair, while Full Intention retain the same essence although add eighties keys plus punchy handclaps to suit the occasion. Leaving the aptly titled Jamie 3:26 Disco Party version to do precisely that care of a series of funky chops and a shuffling fusion of drums. Class Act.
Release: July 12
Lego’s Dub from the original release.
Single of the Week
Déjà vu EP
Poker Flat Recordings
In the course of celebrating a 20 plus years history the label releases this excellent number from Vince Watson. The title track ticks all the right buttons with emotive chords underpinning a relatively restrained Acid bassline and comes complete with a lush breakdown that sets the pulse racing. And to highlight just how effective it all is Déjà vu also features a Beatless and Ambient Mix which both accentuate the track’s sensual nature, with the radiant ambience of the later feeling particularity rewarding care of the well placed piano motif. Illusion, meanwhile provides a tougher affair for the dancefloor with hissing hi-hats accompanied by a more intense array of punchy keys, while label founder Josh Wink’s funky percussion led remix aims high with pounding musicality reaching an eventual deeper climax on what is undoubtedly a first rate version.
Little By Little
Bang The Box EP
Great title (of course) and reflects the banging nature of House Music with this irresistible workout from the Frenchman. Bang The Box, features taught, explosive bass lines plus the chopped-up vocals of the same name and then proceeds to twist them all together delivering highly flammable material. Second track, ‘Stress’ applies nastier bass to pumping drums along with wobbly synths and once again comes up smiling. Simple yet deadly.
Release: January 19
Inside Out Records
An explosive sonically charged barrage from Roland Appel has the title track feel every bit as great as that sounds with dark bass and beats, weird synths and Acid attitude all combining most conveniently into a sizzling collage of sounds. The funkier, Da Cat follows with heavier bass accompanied by sometimes warmer, sometimes harsher keys that are all high on impact and lend the track its distinctive, notably edgy flavour.
Release: January 26
Love this from Monoblok&PSLKTR who defiantly throw the rule book out of the window while delivering an icily cool production complete with addictive deadpan vocals and unsettling synthesizers. Relapse, even features a rocky guitar, live action bass and is most effective via the excellent original mix. Remixes come from a pulsating Rework version, and the sizzling electronics of My Favorite Robot. Next, Walking Disaster supplies another great original with further cool vocals alongside sassy keyboards and decadent 80’s attitude. Arnaud Rebotini’s remix of the same completes with a more robust version beefing it all up nicely.
Midnight Walking EP
What better way to introduce to 2014 than another superlative release via Culprit. Indecently one of my favourite labels but none-the-less this tastefully brooding epic bears all the hallmarks required right down from the teasing, haunting synthesizers to the breathy, psychedelic vocals delivered by Name One. An effective Dub version follows feeling strangely brighter minus the voice, as second track Rolling Stone completes with more twisted electronics and heavily treated vocals sizzling their way across the airwaves.
release: January 27
Sweet life EP
Veteran Detroit and Harmonie Park main-man Rick Wade gets set to release his soulfully charged grooves on Northern imprint FINA. The title track as the name suggests positively drips with emotion as strings accompanied by poignant, minor chords all feel timelessly free in amongst the easy drums. Remixes come from a techier, Mr Beatnick and a perky Tom Taylor & Simon Morell version that ups the tempo and intensity for those late night moments. The Chateau, proceeds with further inescapable funkiness alongside celebratory rhythms galore to satisfy both the historian and dancer care of the well placed sample. Jazz Militia, then takes a tougher stance as deeper beats and bass offset the filtered string infused grooves all over again.
release: vinyl January 31/ digital February 14
Bad Day EP
David Herrero’s instant party-time slammer neatly fuses a classic Chicago bassline together with insistent hi-hats and hook-line vocal edits plus 80’s styled chords to great effect. The arrangement doesn’t pull any punches either, aimed squarely at dancefloor action with its sassy breakdowns all producing a rush of feeling. Indeed, I Like That Feel continues the concept albeit on a deeper tip with more old-school punctuating vocals and synths. O’Clock, then finally calls time amidst a blaze of fiery Todd Terry-esque snares and a cool, rolling bass all of which tellingly links the past to the future.
release: January 20
What better to start the eightieth edition of Magazine Sixty than with the lush production values of Elize. The French artist has created three gems in this release while also highlighting the labels versatility into the bargain. Just Wanna Dance, almost despite what the title claims, fills in the spaces between deep and gorgeous with hypnotic tones alongside dreamy voices combining with tough underlying rhythms perfectly. About This Girl feels that bit friskier with funkier bass and shuffling drums adding an enticing groove before Elize strikes the piano in full effect. All Theses Ices ends sitting somewhere in-between the previous two with moody organ and chunky syncopation giving the process a real kick.
release: March 25
An excellent release from Large that sees the label returning to their 90’s roots with Detroit Swindle’s Lars Vegas delivering an essential production for just about anyone whose into that House sound. Of course, it’s also very telling that the style, and The Game in particular, feels so vibrant today – coming full circle. The title track’s energy is inescapably persuasive with the exuberant vocals, insistent drums and pumping chords all feeling majorly peak time. Break Me Down follows with more strident rhythms and big time keys accompanied by deeper pads for added variation. Homework, supply the remix with their take on the sound being a notably potent one as heavy-duty bass and beats give you that bit more. Extra Large.
release: March 25
Having already released the labels first artist album electronic magician Jori Hulkonnen now has this second selection of remixes to further tempt you in that direction. Gonna Track You Down is remixed impressively by Knox who treat you to a diverse set of sounds; some reversed, some played straight but all highly impactful beside the cinematic landscape created. Jori Hulkkonen’s own remix of Liquid Hologram feels somewhat less experimental in comparison, although still features an invigorating sequence of electronic notes alongside captivating, haunting vocals. The excellent Maxxi Soundsytem then rework Do It giving it a temptingly deeper edge, while featuring Olga Kouklaki’s heavily treated voice against a creative progression of sounds. The Model remix of Bass is a Many Splendored Things finishes on a clubbier note with uptempo, pulsating rhythms all receiving that certain MFR twist.
release: March 25
Negative Time album clips
While not necessarily the most promising of titles the Knackered EP does however reignite the word Balearic with four notably good tracks via Argentine label Get Slow. Christian Malloni’s imaginative production prowess is evident throughout beginning with I Got You and its bluesy vocals played over a fashionably taught, moody bass. Where Nobody Knows Your Name, then sees a breezier vocal spinoff against low-slung beats and tastefully atmospheric instrumentation. Next, the title track itself feeds the senses with vocal cut-ups coupled with an infectious, swirling soundscape that really gets under your skin. However, By My Side is the jewel in the crown referencing a summer beach sometime in the last decade as rolling, filtered grooves wash over you alongside acoustic guitar and emotive voices – picture perfect.
release: March 14
There is something delightfully melodic about the way Re-Set develops its loosely structured chords alongside vocalist Pete Josef’s emotive delivery which hints at melancholy and joy all at the same time. An intriguing recipe for sure and the more you listen to this the more impressive and involving it reveals itself to be. It is also the first in a run-up to the release of an album later in 2013 so hopefully there is much more like this in store. The drums sit neatly along classic Electro lines as evocative keyboards add a juicy funk to the rhythm which feels inspired and tastefully accessible, yet clearly forward reaching in scope. The remix comes care of Berliner Hannes Fischer who transforms the song along technological lines with reverberating vocal treatments adding extra, soulful warmth to the haunting synthesizer lines which colour the spaces in-between sublimely on this stunning reworking.
release: January 28 (12″ vinyl only)
Like kick-ass basslines? Then Costa Ricas’ Mobius Strum has just the ticket in White Disorder. Beginning with unsuspecting beats this then all too quickly announces itself via a succession irresistibly hard-hitting deeper tones. Not a lot else goes on apart from some vocal snippets and the odd sprinkle of atmospheric synth, but then when the rhythm section sizzles with such intensity little else is required. Next, Ocean View proceeds with funkier percussion played out over throbbing bass and occasional chords, again capturing the mood perfectly alongside your attention span. The direct thinking of Kick N’ Snare applies further hypnotic swirls of keyboard to cinematic voices that for some inexplicable reason sound particularly resonate throughout its eight minute timeframe. An excellent release that you would be doing a disservice too by filing anywhere near the reference: minimal.
release: January 21
Yet another distinctive release this week, and quite possibly one the Deep Editions finest moments to date, sees the trio of Keiran Clare, Lloyd Lindo and Francis Seaver deliver a richly, deep production in Ser Mi Dama. It’s all about capturing the mood here which this does so effortlessly by combining atmospheric keys and vocal hints alongside cutting percussion to propel it all. Remixes come from Michelle Owen and Martijn with the former injecting extra energy into the rhythm with heavier bass and punchier chords, the later exploring a moodier Techno feel while also highlighting the expressive vocal aspects again. Second track, Arcapelago is tougher relying on pulsating chords and an invigorating b line to round off this notable release.
release: February 4 Beatport Exclusive / All stores 18th February
Fair to say that this seminal record from Chicken Lips has stood the test of time since its original release some ten years ago. Listen to it and the answer as to why is pretty much self-explanatory. The original version takes pride of place; although the excellent remixes all infuse that bassline with a fresh lease of life by each adding their own distinctive trademark to their reworking. It’s all good as they say, however it’s down to both Groove Armada and Eats Everything to really qualify the track for 2013 with contemporary perspectives. However, having said all that Noir’s Personal Edit of the original is just as hard to beat (with no pun intended).
release: January 28
release: January 28