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COMPILATION OF THE MONTH
Mixed by Subb-An: Rebel Rave 3 (Crosstown Rebels)
Crosstown Rebels once again proves it is one of the most important forward-thinking UK labels with this triple CD release. Discs one and two cover its best output from the last 12 months; disc three is handed over to Crosstown star, Subb-an. His unique take on house has made him an in-demand remixer with rerubs for Tiga, Jamie Woon and Lana Del Rey. A DJ with considerable air miles under his belt, his mix is flawless, and expertly captures the intelligent end of the deep house sound. Highlights include Gavin Herlihy’s ‘Witching Hour’, the Martinez Brothers remix of Fosky and the brilliant D’Julz remix of Solomun. With Subb-an’s own flawless productions and a few sneakies on display here, this is both a fitting tribute to a decade of Crosstown Rebels and a damn fine house mix.
TUNE OF THE MONTH
Let Me Show You Love (Glasgow Underground)
Not only did Romanthony sing on Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’, but he was behind many a house anthem. Now one of his finest moments gets a shot in the arm. Gerd turns in a smooth slab of deepness which is winning praise from Deetron, Mosca and Paul Woolford, Mia Dora’s full-on rave assault will tear the roof off, Gavin Herlihy & Laura Jones turn in a brilliant dark mix, Oliver $’s version is jacking and label boss Kevin McKay’s boasts a catchy piano line. Huge!
Booty Jazz (Ellum Audio)
After remixing Switchbox’s ‘Pirates Poetry’ we see the lethal combination of Maceo Plex and Danny Daze releasing their first joint EP on Maceo Plex’s perfectly formed Ellum Audio label. Leftfield lead track, ‘Shake It Mama’, sounds like a ‘Homework’-era Daft Punk skit, with its tough broken beats and driving bass. ‘Technology’ sounds more like what you would expect from the sum parts of Jupiter Jazz, with its grooving deepness. Soaring synths, solid 4/4 beats and whispered vocals are the order of the day here. ‘Good Girl’ could have come from Underground Resistance with its retro Roland electro beats and really dark feel. This will be useful in the hands of DJs like Andrew Weatherall and Optimo. A really cool project from two great producers.
Motorways (Future Boogie)
Marco Bernardi is a Scottish/Italian now based in Bristol. This move has had a profound effect on Marco with his successful foray into bass- driven house. With previous releases on Clone, Royal Oak, Soma and Creme Organization it’s clear his roots lie more in electro and techno territories, but now he’s successfully tackling house. Bringing his considerable studio skills and coming at it from a different angle has added to the charm of this release for the impeccable Future Boogie. ’Motoways’ kicks off things with its quirky synth and acid gurgle. ‘Space Coral’ has a nod to Chicago yet lush pads give it a warm, electronic feel. ‘Cosmic Aroma’ rounds off the EP with floaty pads and a catchy synth-line. With these solid three tracks for Future Boogie and with future releases on Hypercolour, Marco is definitely a name to watch now in the house scene.
Higher Forces (Dixon Avenue Basement Jams)
Not much is known about this shadowy producer other than the fact that Ben UFO and Jackmaster have given him their seal of approval. The only clues we have to the whereabouts of his secret lair come via the name of his label, and we are staking out Dixon Avenues everywhere. But this release lets the music speak for itself: four tracks that cover a wide spectrum of house. Title track ‘Higher Forces’ sounds like Paul Woolford or Daniel Avery jamming with Derrick Carter, its catchy top-line synth dancing on top of pitching, metallic electronica. ‘I Want You’ takes care of garage-tinged duties with its vocal snips, skippy beats and a deep, dark feel. ‘Divine Intervention’ is a low-slung acid affair that gurgles along with electronic clunks and soaring strings. ‘Automatic’ is a quality deep warm-up tool that rounds off another excellent release for DABJ.
Hot Since 82
Hot Jams Vol 2 (Noir Music)
2012 was an amazing year for the Yorkshireman, with some amazing releases for Get Physical, Moda Black and of course the first instalment of the Hot Jams. He has been responsible for some amazing remixes for the likes of Yousef, Russ Chimes, Funky Green Dogs and more, and successfully straddles a divide between the deep crew and the main-room vibe. ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ is the big one here with its dark vocal and infectiously intense top line. ‘Pour The Sugar’ is silky house with a genius sample from a 90s slow-jam maestro. ‘Mr Drive’ and ‘Phat Tool’ both join the party to make this another essential EP from Hot Since 82.
Yakine, Le Loup, Seuil & Robin Ordell
Half Baked (Half Baked)
Spawned from the Half Baked Sunday Sessions night in London comes the first vinyl-only release from the Half Baked crew. Each of the residents takes a track and turns in some quality house jams. First up is Le Loup with the brilliant ‘Light Loop’, complete with skippy hats, off-kilter snares, dreamy pads and a really nice feel to it that pricks up your ears. Seuil takes contol of the platter next with some dark deepness that really comes into its own when the lazy hats kick in. Yakine supplies 90s beats and catchy organs with his track ‘Bubazul’ and its flawless percussion. Last up is Leftroom’s Robin Ordell with a jazz-tinged deep groover. Looking forward to more of the same from this promising new label.
Butch feat Benjamin Franklin
Highbeams (Hot Creations)
Following his stunning ‘Lullabies to Paralyze’ on the mighty Visionquest, and sterling releases for Great Stuff among others, the powers that be at Hot Creations have snapped up Butch for a heavyweight EP. Butch has enlisted the incredibly talented Benjamin Franklin to provide vocals on this piece of classy emotive house. This is taken up a gear by the flawless Maceo Plex, with his amazing remix. Miguel Campbell also provides a great remix, but it’s overshadowed by Ellum Audio boss man. Epic flipside track ‘Faith’ gets a deep re-rub by PBR Streetgang complete with fizzing hi-hats and liquid bass. Butch himself has another crack at ‘Faith’, with its MGMT-esque vocals and a familiar 80s sample that “pulls up”, (ahem) the original to a whole new place.
Superstitious Heart Part 2 (2020Vision)
2020 Vision is back with the second instalment of Little Boots ‘Superstitious Heart.’ The original is a beautiful, blissed out house track with Victoria Hesketh’s gorgeous vocal sitting atop a grooving house track. Good though this is, it is superceded by the stunning PBR Streetgang remix. OK, we know the deal – they have put out quality records with Southern Fried, Hot Creations, 2020 Vision and Futureboogie, among others. They take things not just to the dancefloor here but inject a real feeling of contemporary classiness into their interpretation while still retaining the charm of the original. Perfect.
Beyond Therapy Vol 1 (Fullbarr)
The newly relocated Fullbarr imprint is bringing you a solid four-track EP from Classic Records and Music for Freaks head honcho, Luke Solomon. Luke has been responsible for some amazing recordings over the last while, for labels like Gigolo, Crosstown Rebels, Leftroom and of course Classic, which he runs with Derrick Carter. He opens here with ‘Crash Beat’, complete with early Chicago-style patterns and off- kilter beats that sit on top of a gurgling groove. Next up is ‘Hoover Bag’ with its twisted, driving groove. ‘Look back’, is probably the most straight-up house track of the EP with a catchy organ line and solid beats. The hypnotic, acid- tinged ‘Pop Rocks’ finishes off this sturdy EP from one of those Freaks.
This Is House (Classic Music Company)
Sounding just like those amazing early Classic Music Company vinyl record releases of the 2000s, we have Giano. This record has the sound of Derrick Carter ripping out of it: a grooving, Windy City classic in the making that has been one of the standout tracks in Carter’s recent DJ outings. With its ‘boompty boomp’, groove and spoken-word top line, this may not be re-inventing the wheel, but it is great, proper Chicago house music as it should be. Flip track ‘The Underground’, with its catchy hip-house vocal loop and jacking beats, has been a staple in DC sets for the last six months. Eagle-eared listeners will doubtless notice that ‘The Underground’ sample has previously been used in the Classic release by Brett Johnson called ‘It’s The Underground.’ This is house.
Give Me (Silence in Metropolis)
Coming from a brand-new US label we have house veteran Dale Howard. Dale has released his quality garage-tinged house grooves on labels like Neurotraxx, Morris Audio, OFF Recordings and Sleaze Records. Title track ‘Give Me’ is a catchy, bumping house groover that takes elements of deep house and garage to give this a truly unique feel. Leftwing and Kody kick things up a gear with a standout remix that proves they are certainly moving up the ranks. With the flipside coming from the quality ‘Get You’, along with a hot JMF remix, this label is off to a flying start.
Leonidas & Hobbes
Machines, Tapes & Electronic Setups (Hobbes Music)
Following on from the brilliant ‘Midnight Thunder’ EP which featured brilliant tracks and remixes from Auntie Flo, Twitch from Optimo and Neil Landstrumm. We have the second EP from the new Hobbes imprint. Coming from label boss Hobbes himself and his studio partner Leonidas is lead track, ‘Driftin’, a low-slung house track with a wicked gospel sample dropped over a fine array of vintage synths. This really is like nothing else, and sets out the stall for this inventive EP. The Penthouse dub gives a nod to the groundbreaking Heaven 17 album ‘Heavens And Pavements’ which has been such an influence on producers like Todd Terje and Lindstromm. ‘Jackin’ Schidt’ is as perfect a piece of acid house as you could find, and could have come from the Trax label back in the day. Released as a limited 12” and to download, this is another great release from this burgeoning label.