A gentleman who needs little introduction is the infamous Jose Padilla and if you’ve either witnessed one of his sunset sets, or indeed lisented to one of his numerous CD compilations then you can guess what you’re about to receive. Which is, of course, tranquil blissed-out music espousing atmosphere rather dancefloor clique. The title track undulates in a deeply satisfying way as gentle layers of voice, flute and percussion underpin it all close to your heart, with Mark Barrott’s production shinning. The Bubble Clubs In Loving Memory Mix provides a more hypnotic experience with haunting pads and delays comfortably pacing themselves, while the excellent Wolf Müller Water versions add a funkier sensibility to the equation, and one which works supremely well.
Delivering yet another devilishly charged release Superfreq maintain the tension with this latest from Inxec & Julia Govor. The Original version is all sassy, funky electronics set against a dazzling array of twisted effects and gorgeous, breathy voices all of which simply stuns. Great remixes come from Derek Marin whose dark, trippy rendition contains a classic House B-line and all sorted accompanying percussion. Plus, Meandisco who supply even weirder synths and pulverising beats. Leaving, Noel Jackson’s more sensuous remix to complete with warmer meanderings.
Two tracks go to make up this tasty EP from David K who you will be know with via his releases on the likes of Freak n’Chic and Coccon etc. The charmingly titled, Middle Aged Romance kicks things off with a selection of deeper, sensuous tones alongside fiery drum machines all vying for your attention amidst occasional strident House chords feeling compelling. However, its second track and the very excellent, Drop The Beat that relentlessly grabs your attention with killer Chicago styled beats booming, coupled with commanding vocals and insistent percussion lines – Party Monster!
Azari & III
‘Azari & III’
Loose Lips Records
If anyone tries to tell you that ‘Things aren’t as good as they used to be’ they obviously haven’t had the positive pleasure of experiencing Azari & III. As an attitude to dullness the album plays like a dream touching on all points from the more Soulful to the blatantly Techno inspired, this selection of music relishes the extremes. While current single, Restless (With Your Love) and with previous ones are included the air of familiarity is offset by the albums now U.K release. Tracks such as the acid infused Tunnel Vision and the mechanically charged Indigo simmer with tension as the production values are never less than dazzling throughout – although not always pretty such as on the deliciously sinister, Manhooker. Sweet dreams are made of this. 10
Tony Lionni returns the serve with this typically striking production which sees him trace the lines between Techno and House and then blur them. Higher Ground loops a vocal snippet, works it to death over splashing hats and insistent organ with sumptuously deep synth acting as the pay-off – an inspired touch of Jazz. Moomin provides an excellent remix with funky rhythms blending together with a selection of treated instruments. And, if that isn’t enough then the final the e.p’s finale certainly will be. Forever Is A Long Time… begins with Disco drums and ends up reliving a series of classic Deep House moments with exquisite piano and swirling pads: Spine-tingling. 9
Murray Richardson ‘Memory Loss’ Baker Street Recordings
The story of House continues with this excellent bass driven production from Murray Richardson. Many of you will be overtly familiar with Baker Street by now but if not then title track Memory Loss is the reason to get acquainted. Bass lines like this are hard to beat and coupled with rattling hats and Detroit stabs this invigorating groove pushes all the right buttons at Magazine Sixty. The curious Sometime Sweet Susan continues by adding up various old-school elements and sounding vital. Remixes of Memory, are from the first-rate Paul Hardy & McKai who not surprisingly retain the B line but spice up the drums and top end to compliment the original, and a hypnotic Gareth Whitehead whose sub is suitably s**t hot! 8
Memoria Recordings’ own Lilith plays with numbers on this hard-hitting and deeply involving E.P. Opening track 22, produced along with Timothy Watt, sets hissing 909 hats against moody stabs, weird voices and funky tech rhythms and does nothing if not leave an indelible impression on your mind. Freak You does as the title suggests with menacing sounds and techno attitude. 44 follows the progression with deeper tones and stylish snares, while Circoloco’s Andrew Grant explores yet more tense atmospheres and drum textures on his excellent remix. The Filsonik remix of Freak You rounds off in jackin’ Chicago mode teasing you with its bassline and shuffling percussion. 8
If you like music that challenges your imagination then Mexico City’s Signal Deluxe are most definitely for you. The led track is somewhat epic clocking in at nearly eleven and a half minutes, but don’t let that bother you at this develops a sequence of completely intriguing sounds and vocal treatments all at its own pace – feeling almost ambient at times but with a deadly serious undercurrent too. Or to put that into other words, it’s a stunning piece of electronic music. But then so is the Derek Marin Remix who twists nasty stabs together with trippy vocals and slower beats. The Craft Remix lifts the tempo techno time for its unrelenting version, while the Deepak Sharma & Dieter Krause Remix stretches everything out into sonic extremes and might be something you would like to experience in a dark room (though perhaps not alone!) Again you could use the word exceptional. 9
Sandy Barber ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ BBE Records
Sandra Barber was the lead vocalist on Rare Pleasure’s classic ‘Let me Down Easy’ after which she branched out with producer Clyde Otis as a solo artist to release her debut album in 1977. It’s all too easy to review The Best Is Yet To come because you are immediately enveloped in soaring emotive melodies the way only Soul music seems to truly do. The album contains its fair share of down tempo ballads such as the gorgeous I’ll Belong To You/ Yea Baby but also mid-tempo Disco shuffles and even hot boogie action too. Try, I Think I Think I’ll Do Some Stepping (On My Own) which comes with excellent reworkings from John Morales and Al Kent as well as the somewhat suggestive I’ve Got something Good (Come And Get It) for size. You won’t be dissatisfied. 8
The second in this series highlighting the labels’ prowess sees Glaswegian Dominic Martin select fourteen tracks to mix. You’d be surprised if I didn’t reassure you the music contains the key word, Deep although rarely do the energy levels dip below that required to party. The album contains a handful of new productions along with a couple of notable remixes from Giom, Milton Jackson and Johnny Fiasco who all deliver typically punchy selections. What the tracks do have in likeness is a common bond in the use of funky stabs, warm pads and always crisp beats. Also well worth noting are the smoky down-tempo numbers: New Context and the tastefully Jazzy ‘Last Exit’ which serve to break up the beats and the mix in an extra layer of intrigue. 8