A Brighter Light feat. Jeremy Glenn
Under the Shade Records
The 40th release from the label sees Justin Strauss and Teddy Stuart aka a/jus/ted show us just how it’s done by focusing the production on the use of the original drum machines and synths which created the sound of House in the first place. Consequently this has a timeless quality to it, feeling strikingly electronic but also most definitely soulful care off Jeremy Glenn’s emotionally rich vocal. Lars Vegas (one half of Detroit Swindle) again provides an excellent remix with a tougher take utilising strident stabs and fizzy keys to add additional atmosphere. The Re a/jus/ted mix finishes with more than a hint of Acid attitude that simply simmers with tension, with an additional Instrumental version of the Original available via the digital release.
How could you not like this song. Jesse Ware sings with typical panache shinning soulfully over Julio Bashmore’s warmly melodic production. Think sunshine but with a sting being the heavy duty kick and bass employed by the producer to give the yearning vocals that very definite edge. Only one version so far but more on the way…
Italian DJ Berny has teamed up with the excellent Harley & Muscle to produce what is undoubtedly a gratifying journey through Deep House and to beyond. Opening with the breathy vocals and rich Rhodes chords of Everything the album is very much about depth of feeling with the breadth of sounds taking in everything from 90’s influences as on Same Things Everyday to then exploring Jazz/ funk sensibilities via the album’s title track Central Park. Furthering the alums scope are tougher moments like the impressive Chicago, although that cool sense of jazziness is what really prevails throughout.
Salvia Sessions EP
Got To Get Higher is one of those tracks whose relentless attack on the senses will shake any complicity out of even the most jaded listener. Its all in the bass and this certainly packs a punch with it. That, and the repetition of pounding beats with just the hint of a Disco sample in there somewhere – so all bases covered really. Detroit’s Delano Smith supplies a great remix which releases more of the Disco element against splashing 909 hi-hats and brooding stabs. Next up is Me! I’m Over Here which delivers thumping tribal rhythms and haunting sounds over the course of several minutes, leaving Watching Eastwood to move in a funkier direction with sassy bass and suggestive voices sounding very inviting.
Mic Newman & Garry Todd
The Shelter EP
Inspired by the legendary New York club the ep’s title track will transport you right back to the early nineties days of heady organ riffs and swinging drums rhythms. If you fancy the sound of that then The Shelter pushes all those buttons with chopped-up vocals and high pitched strings holding the tension, along with Acid twists and abrasive beats. Sex, Drugs & Sausage Rolls, meanwhile dispenses with the past with a more in tune reading of the present exploring hot, tribal rhythms and fizzy electronics to perfection, with an impressive deeper remix coming from Tom Craven & James Cotterill. Next, Swing Down featuring Garry Todd solo reinvigorates the tempo with an impassioned Soul vocal blazing across more shuffling hi-hats and brash snares. Burnski provides a killer remix with funkier bass and building loops driving headlong into oblivion à la DJ Pierre. The Penny Farthing Dairies is the final track from the pair this time utilising Acid notes and spaced-aged electronics to complete what is a first rate EP.
The mere fact of a collaboration between Cabaret Voltaire’s Stephen Mallinder and Fila Brazillia’s Steve Cobby should speak volumes in itself. The music certainly does, especially when played Loud. And it should also come as little surprise that the two names involved infuse their music with a hugely diverse set of influences, from industrial noise to Dub, to Afro-funk and Jazzy beyond. After all, Cabaret Voltaire where one of the UK’s chief instigators of electronic music from the late seventies, while Filla Brazillia carried the flag on into the 90’s and the 00’s. The album opens with the abrasive dancefloor orientated Rob A Bank Rob but also quickly plays with tempo, mood and warmth on proceeding tracks such as Scissormouth. In fact the albums diversity is its strength, plus of course the ingenious use of sound and production that clearly set Can You Hear Me Mutha?…apart.
David Shaw and The Beat
So It Goes
Her Majestys Ship
David Shaw’s ‘So It Goes’ blends together varying moments and joy and pain through the medium of his own infectious brand of electro-pop/ funk. Which, is by no means a negative term as the music balances upon a delicate edge, laced with dramatic tension and underlying moodiness. It’s as much about the vocals icy cool as it is about the hooky synthesiser riffs, which on the excellent No More White Horses and the acoustic strumming Single Serving Friend are irresistible. Released on his own imprint the album also boasts a cover The The ‘Infected’ and ends on a ten minute exploration of the title that clashes ideas together from Giorgio Moroder to Depeche Mode, and is worth every second.
One of the most captivating productions this week comes from Bluford Duck, who follows up ‘Wait’ (released on Noir Music) with this hypnotic journey into repetition. Built around a juicy bassline, fleeting vocals and crisp drums this has a certain melancholy quality which is hard to pin down, but which defies the logic by sounding heavenly. Patrick Podage & Nikola Kotevski’s remix replays the elements adding extra punch, leaving Jesus Pablo’s tinkling piano and his remix with Adam Brass to give the track yet another texture via the choice of classic chords.
You could say that they don’t make them like this anymore. You would right too. But, if they did then surely it would merely be nostalgic, indulging in retrospection and so on and on…
The point is of course that it was made in the first place and without music like this the world would be all the duller for it. Delusions, was released in 1977 and the sheer strength of the vocals and music has stood the test of durability from the then to now. It’s worth saying that these timely re-releases from bbr should be essential editions to add to your CD collection, either to inform you, or to relish. It’s all in the way that the vocals weave their sensual spell across the often sublime playing, often reaching exhilaration on moments such as Dr. Love and Let No Man Put Asunder – both replayed and sampled over the course of the nineties, and will no doubt provide yet more inspiration for this new generation. Also of note is their cover of Stevie Wonder’s Love Having You Around, plus that the various 12” remixes from the likes of Tom Moulton and Frankie Knuckles are included too to give you perspective. Produced by Baker-Harris-Young this couldn’t sound any better, or indeed any more vibrant. The sleeve notes will tell you the full story behind the headline, but for now try the links below and surprise yourself…