Always a pleasure to new music from Franck Roger and this proves to be no exception. In fact the serious repetition employed by Mogoldino sets the pulses racing as shuffling drums are offset by staccato piano stabs adding warmth and soul to the otherwise heavy-duty arrangement of succulent intensity. In one sense not a huge amount changes but, in another, worlds collide. San Diego, is located next with a contrasting flavour to the production as deep, rolling bass feels stereo-wide alongside choppy organ stabs, echoes of uplifting vocal and more percussive funkiness than you’d care to mention in polite society.
Conceived as an aural tribute to the ‘Hansa recording studios’ on Köthener Straße No. 38 in Berlin, this long player courtesy of Matt Edwards (aka Radio Slave) and Thomas Gandey (aka Cagedbaby) not only boasts purely live instrumentation but also the transcendent atmosphere of the music produced. Hansa was made famous by the likes of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Tangerine Dream and Depeche Mode, amongst many significant others and is obviously a hard act to follow with the album taking its main inspiration from Bowie’s 1977 masterpiece Low. The result is a suitably stunning experience which blends a rich mixture of beats and percussion augmented by an intense musicality that is as far away from the mindless repetition of Tech House as you could imagine. Indeed, you could for example say that the piano played on Piano 2 Variation 4 has been spiritually guided. Or, try soaking up the haunting, ambience triggered by Hansa itself complete with taught electro drums, while the concluding title track ends on a wash of Fender Rhodes echoing your imagination to hear the excellence all over again…
HEAR DIS SOUND (Remixes)
Hipp-e and Halo’s distinctive release from just under ten years ago now gets revitalised via an excellent set of remixes transforming this gem directly into 2014. Beginning with Yousef’s great version that sets addictive organ notes against a fiery backdrop of hypnotic percussion and pulsating beats this is built for the repeat button. The Space Coast take is next combining sparkling synths and tough bass, followed by Sneak’s relentless attack on the senses. Franck Roger’s outstanding funky bassline driven remix then scores high, while DJ Buck adds a cool Disco flavour with a twist. Craig Richards then defies expectations by dropping the tempo into darker territory with a heavy dose of sound effects, leaving Adam Shelton to pick up the pace once again with another suitably punchy rendition that rocks the floor. All good.
Surpassing the computer functionality of the title this strips it back to basics via a pumping House beat and accompanying bassline. Not quite so sure about the vocal line despite its obvious catchiness but then there is always a great Dub version to contend with. Or, the excellent PBR Streetgang Remix which transforms the vocal into filtered nirvana via an array of swirling synths and an ecstatic arrangement. Second track, The Project delves deeper again with a detuned vocal loop, as does the addictive The Pattern which is complimented by a first rate rhythm section.
Everything (We Are)
Wolf + Lamb Records
What’s not to like about this. After all if breathy vocal deliveries and syncopated basslines backed up by punchy drumming are your thing then this is just right on the opening, ‘Miss White’. While the title track has a restrained yet slightly epic feel to it care off a rousing chorus line backed-up by Dave Robertson’s vocals and atmospheric instrumentation. Who then re-appears as Cameo Culture for the remix by adding a funkier attitude to the proceedings. Finally, Second Fiddle again weaves the delicate vocals through a musical fabric that sounds playful and enjoyable.
This delicious, brooding production from Guido Schneider & Jens Bond is little short of outstanding. Not only do the intriguing electronic rhythms captivate your attention creating a hypnotic, inviting soundscape but with the addition of commanding voice, trumpet and timbale the picture is warmly complimented by the human touch. Another first rate piece of music from the Cadenza stable. Planet E’s Monty Luke then remixes the title track with pulsating drums, acid styled bass and squelchy keys. The likewise excellent Flags Of Peace, finishes with punchy instrumentation featuring infectious organ stabs, spacey effects, flourishes of Balearic guitar and a spoken message that will surely resonate throughout the summer…
Julien Chaptal & Lauhaus challenging collage of sounds fly high along the lines of tribal and hypnosis. It’s a deeply intoxicating blend of slightly unsettling moods coupled with dark, pulsating rhythms and striking sound effects firing off in all directions, with the relief of subtle melody only occurring via moody synths some six minutes in. Franck Roger’s Remix as you would expect adds quality House bass to the equation while supplying his own take on the effects with as usual inspired consequences. Second and equally good is, Watching You which supplies sleazy suggestion vocally running alongside various Acid tweaks and building layers of percussion.
Another great release from One records this time seeing the label explore seductive possibilities by Frenchmen Yamen & EDA. You could describe this as very late night or illicitly early morning depending on your sense of time but either way this excellent production simmers with low-slung tension. Powered by throbbing bass and tough percussion this features an entrancing monologue playing alongside the whirring instrumentation. Remixes come from Shaun Reeves, Jay Haze & Bill Patrick who pick up the tempo as they inject twisted electronics into the mix while concentrating on the Rap part of the vocal. Next, All Out continues the tension with deep beats and echoed stabs giving it all spacey far flung quality. The Subb-an 5am Remix completes with an all out Techno assault that spins an invigorating basslines against quick-fire drums.
Sixteen new productions from Guy Gerber go make up this latest compilation in the fabric series totalling 64. And as you have come to expect from the producer this is another selection of exquisite resonating music that reaches way beyond your imagination. Always spirited, yet incisive and experimental, this effortlessly deep compilation of sounds are as invigorating first thing in the morning as there are very late at night. Weaving between haunting vocals and cinematic instrumentals this once again highlights Guy Gerber as one of the world’s finest in this field of electronic music. Every track stands out in its own right and it would almost be pointless in suggesting particular highlights, but here goes anyway: the completely infectious One Day In May loops heavenly ambience into dancefloor nirvana, while the opening Store-House Consciousness and The Golden Sun And The Silver Moon sound as blissful as the title suggests. The music plays between dancefloor and horizontal listening with consummate ease, with number 64 proving yet another to be a winning formula.
Tracks From The Crypt
Jamie Jones second album for Crosstown Rebels sees two of the world’s most significant players combine forces again successfully, after the DJ’s string of awards plus the labels succession of killer releases. The collection features unreleased tracks – although heaven knows why – alongside new productions, and if you’ve witnessed Jamie play live then Somewhere, Paradise and Frequencies may already be well known to you. But waiting eagerly to get out there too is the equally fresh future-funk of Mari 2D Underground and the uneasy edge belonging to Tonight In Tokyo feat. Luca C. Also make sure you listen out for the sinister bass experience that is Over Each Other with Livia Giammaria’s vocal sounding tastefully bitter in the process too. All the signature sounds are present, with those defining original House influences playing their part to reinforce what is undoubtedly another essential in the canon.
The fifth release from the label sees Remi Mazet deliver breezy summer sounds to quench your thirst for all things funky. Playing with a hint of Gwen Guthrie in the air, the punchy bassline buzzes over introspective Rhodes chords and technological synths on the Original version to great effect. Boris Horel then provides the remix of Le Kiff with bouncy European bass and perky percussion, leaving second track Are you There feat. Mr.Matlar completing the picture with more easily accessible grooves backed up by intriguing voices and frisky snares. Good release.
This three track EP marks the labels 58th and presents their trademark style perfectly. Opening with NTFO & Karmon ‘Nobody Else’ and its punchy melodic bassline, which plays against snare rushes and atmospheric touches, this neatly infuses together a thoughtful production with dancefloor sensibilities. The title track is then provided by Karmon who works moody bass over sharp percussion and classic early-eighties keys, and this again proves to be easy to fall for. Betoko’s, Raining Again provides a potential anthem for the North of England with shuffling synthetic rhythms and detuned vocals intoning the wet stuff.
If you haven’t already checked Amirali’s beautifully crafted album for Crosstown Rebels then you’re missing out on an experience. In the meantime here is the chance to love the hauntingly atmospheric new single which also come s with some great remixes. Such as, Franck Roger who expertly builds the tension by adding fresh chords and drums to re imagine the vocal, while the MK version surpasses the remit with typically classy bass and beats feeling totally big-time. Appleblim’s aptly titled Black Mirrorball Mix then twists the elements over throbbing kicks into something altogether more space aged, making his statement loud and clear.
Dance With The White Rabbit EP
Love this production from Ahmet Sisman whose Dance With The White Rabbit feels all at once like a party in your head. Impressive sound fx and dubbed vocal treatments give the track a very big feel indeed, but it’s also the combination of differing styles that give it all such a unique edge. Nico Lahs provides the remix with funkier bass and a deeper mood, while Audiofly cleverly break up the beats on their abstracted version. Meanwhile, Hello To Alice continues the Wonderland theme with more expressive voices and dark electronics to finish.
This is the second release on Artform’s sister imprint, Arthouse and comes from Erase Records’ Dimos Stamatelos. The Original version sets a punchy tempo against cool Rhodes chords, a taught tech bassline and with hard hitting vocal snippets this is set to induce frantic head nodding. The effective Frogs and Socks remix then teases extra tension from its undulating synth and smart dancefloor arrangement, while label head Jamie Anderson’s Latin Hustle version introduces the chords to warmer possibilities with the intensely funky percussion giving it all a precise edge.
release: June 18 as a Beatport exclusive for 4 weeks. July 16 general release.
If you like to think outside the box then this will most definitely tempt you. It’s distinctly impossible to categorise but then that is precisely its charm. Sometimes House-ish, sometimes Techno-esque, other times sounding like Pink Floyd through a Dance blender, this isn’t always a comfortable ride but is a rewarding one. One half of Zombi, Steve Moore supplies the remix in two parts with his ‘remix’ making some sense of the madness by building layers of arpeggios over a steady kick drum, as the ‘Off-World’ version provides more of an ethereal landscape by gently playing with voices and pulsating rhythms over an epic feeling eight minutes.
Jerome Derradji Presents: 122 BPM
The Birth Of House Music – Mitchbal Records & Chicago Connection Records
This three CD set from the early to late Eighties catalogues of Mitchbal Records and its subsidiary Chicago Connection Records is pretty much indispensible listening if you’re in any way interested in the history of Chicago House Music. Mitchbal Records was founded by Nemiah Mitchell Jr and released their first influential 12” single by Z Factor aka Vince Lawrence (before starting the infamous Trax Records) I Like to Do It in Fast Cars in 1983 (hear below). The selection also includes music from Mr Lee and Libra Libra, and joins together the diverse set of influences that went to make up what became known as House Music: from UK New Wave/ Synthpop and European/Italian dance all the way through to the soulful end of American Disco. The CD comes with invaluable extras such as a 28 page booklet on the labels’ history plus mix from Still Music’s Jerome Derradji, and also features one of Frankie Knuckles rarest remixes: Unfinished Business.
Mexico’s Louie Fresco has not only produced one of the most tense intro’s so far this year (albeit only two minutes, nineteen seconds long) but also successfully spins Sylvester’s timely words of wisdom off a deliciously heavy-duty bassline with life-affirming electricity. If all that feels life a bit of a mouthful, then trust me by listening to the track – volume up. Plus with an added bonus, So Good also has a cowbell! Next is the Russ Yallop Remix which coolly builds up more profound feelings with insanely looped voices and undulating deep tones complimenting each other most compellingly. The curiously titled Owl Night finishes with yet more sinister bass notes and cut-up vocals designed to cause serious consternation, which it also does amply well. 9 http://soundcloud.com/no19music/louie-fresco-so-good
On so to a more melodic note which seemingly samples something so beautifully familiar I can’t quite remember what it is. None the less Manuel Tur’s sublime production conjures up various sorts of emotion – all of them positive – as this Balearic infused delight sits perfectly on Freerange with temptingly breathy vocals and swirling pads all feeling gorgeous. The Jimpster Dub retraces the elements in typically deep style with a flurry of striking touches being suitably impressive. Next, Odsidian gets tougher and moodier with almost Rock drumming sounding big alongside acid tones and twisted vocals, while the Damiano Von Erckert remix adds a techno flavor to the equation. Watch out for his forthcoming album: Elephants Reflecting Swans sometime in late April. 9
Franck Roger & Terence: Terry ‘This Is Now’ E.P Real Tone Records
The name which has, I think, appeared here more often than not is Franck Roger who along with Terence:Terry once again gets the thumbs up with this thoughtful Deep House production. The words to the opening Hustling Peoples do just that with its rumbling bassline and addictive synth lines adding extra sparkle to the seemingly moody vocal. The title track follows with organ bass and some poignant fx filling the spaces in-between, leaving the excellent Beaucoup La Fete to complete the release by frequenting the sounds of Chicago to Detroit yet all the while feeling fresh and original – not always an easy feat. 8
What a way to finish! As Sid Vaga’s explosive workout in Latin catches all the rays of rhythm going with sassy piano and vocals playing the party out in style. It may not be rocket science but the Original mix certainly works in terms of expressive energy and also contains some extra cool percussion and guitar flair. The d’sol Remix turns it all on its head with a much deeper interpretation that explores the more subtle elements (if you can believe that) in the original, especially and thankfully the emotive guitar and wind instrumentation all of which really strikes the perfect note to end on. 8
The first of two releases reviewed this week (both produced by Franck Roger) sees the inimitable Frenchman deliver what he does best: gorgeous Deep House Music for the discernable listener. Too Blind To See sequences together a compelling bassline with crisp drums, edited vocal snippets and ends up at the desired effect. Deep In again delivers on provocative percussion, although this time with cutting organ chords and warmer vocals coupled with tastefully muted trumpet this notably sumptuous arrangement pushes all the right buttons. 8
Joel Alter feat. Eric D. Clark ‘Rules Of Love (Franck Roger Remix)’ Bass Culture
This excellent remix sees Roger surpass himself with the obvious pleasure of reworking these striking spoken words by Eric D. Clark. Driven by an infectious arpeggio of haunting synth and stunning bass notes this perfectly times its sense of occasion by gently introducing a devastatingly cool array of ideas, from additional deep tones to commanding keys. Feeling very much like that classic Chicago House sound, both electronically and vocally, this can only come as highly recommended. Also well worth checking are the Original and DJ Qu versions. 9
Not out until Feburary 12 (2012) but the video for the new single from Azari & III: Reckless is first class…
Luv Luv Luv Records
And for something very different to all of the above you could try this Orange Juice flavoured slice of pure pop soul. Clocking in at a shade over three minutes this effortlessly provides breezy summer melodies alongside funky guitar which is pleasingly strummed throughout. Easy to move to too, this neatly combines happy moments with sunnier climes. 7
Zakes Bantwini ‘Wasting My Time’ (Dan Ghenacia Remix: The Martinez Brothers Edit) Real Tone Records
This Martinez Brothers Edit of Wasting My Time is so heavy it makes you want to swear. But it’s not all devastating bass and sharp beats as cool muted horns and an insistent keyboard riff compliment the madness perfectly, with carefully chosen words only adding extra spice. Respect due to Zakes Bantwini, Franck Roger and also Dan Ghenacia for helping this to happen in the first place. But if words are not enough, click below for a taste of the original remix! 9
release: nov 2011
Tony Lionni ‘The Bijou EP’ Madhouse Records
If you add the words gorgeous, deep and House Music together will end up here at this bijou. Steps Ahead captures all those early nineties feelings with classic beats and sizzling hi-hats accompanied by staccato organ bass notes – which are nearly always irresistible – and undulating chords and fizzy electronics. The title track follows with expansive pads and arpeggio notes playing like its 1988 all over again on a dancefloor, and why not. Hypnotize, hits a deeper groove with intensity building layers of atmosphere proving irresistible, with final track Rumours elevating the mood once again with joyous keys and funky percussion on what sounds like the EP’s most effective production. 9
Valeria Croft ‘Just Prove Again EP.’ Tea Boy Music
Two tracks go to make up this EP from Valeria Croft who hails from the Russian Federation. You may like the amalgamation of ideas which are seemingly thrown together casually and yet feel thoughtful and emotive the more you listen. Just Prove Again combines a sprinkling of cabaret piano alongside snare brushes with richly atmospheric tech stabs for starters. While the more intense Walls On Water has an infectious acid bassline working up a fever with 909 hats and nervous sounds edging themselves under your skin. It has to be said you may enjoy the danger. 8