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Blog entries categorized under Reviews

Reviews

9 posts in this category
Subcategories from this category: Bass | Soul / Funk | Compilations | Breaks | DVD | R&B / Soul | Hard Dance | Twisted | Christmas Compilations | Urban | Christmas | Dubstep | Tech / Electro | Tech / House | Albums | Mainstream | Hip-Hop | Drum & Bass | Leftfield | Electro | Techno | Prog / Tribal / Trance | House

Mark Barrott - Sketches From An Island 2 - (International Feel)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 Albums
The glorious cover of this record tells you a lot about the contents, for Mark Barrott has written an album of lush sonic colours that completely soothes the mind and soul – the ideal preparation for a night out or to soothe in the early morning. While the music itself is beautifully structured and arranged, Barrott using in his words ‘weird percussion, some slide guitars and a few borrowed synths’, the winning card is played with what sounds like the addition of field recordings of birds. On pa...
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Tom Vek - Luck - (Moshi Moshi)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 Albums
Tom Vek brings his idiosyncratic voice back to the microphone for a third album – and after waiting so long for 2011’s ‘Leisure Seizure’, he’s clearly hit a vein of creativity once again. In truth, ‘Luck’ is a good bit better than that record, for it relocates Vek’s refreshing, straight talking style and twins it with music that is never less than interesting. Occasionally the vocal can be too much, but it’s a small price to pay for songs like ‘Pushing Your Luck’, ‘A Mistake’, ‘You’ll Stay’ and ...
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Dave Aju - Black Frames - (Circus Company)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 Albums
Dave Aju takes two life-changing situations – the end of a relationship and moving house – and harnesses them to extremely good effect in ‘Black Frames’. While this is essentially a techno record it is fully flavoured with hip hop and soul, while Aju adds some pertinent vocals when necessary from Qzen and Tyrel Williams, who adds the essential ‘get our shit together’ line on ‘Nobody Knows’. The two best tracks – arguably – are the loping groove of ‘Nu Threads’, which supports an offbeat jam, and...
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Joakim - Tropics Of Love - (Because)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 Albums
For his fifth studio album Joakim holed himself up in his New York apartment – but it’s quite clear from listening to this that Paris is still in the forefront of his mind. This is a stylistically adventurous piece of work that builds on 80s funk with some clever and witty explorations, reaching its peak in songs like the wistful ‘Bring Your Love’, which features Luke Jenner of The Rapture, opening out beautifully to its chorus in a way that suits Jenner’s voice perfectly. Elsewhere the DFA New ...
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Jose James - While You Were Sleeping Sampler - (Blue Note)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 Leftfield
José James is one of those pure and talented artists, exponents of modern jazz, hip hop, raw funk, mellow soul, indie rock and folk a champion of the Holy Grail of real music and as such a keeper of the faith who deserves accolades, plaudits and praise by the bucket load. An alumni of Gilles Peterson’s ‘Brownswood’ label and cornerstone of the Worldwide family, now recording for the hallowed ‘Blue Note’ James’ steps up with a deliciously addictive, three track sampler that will have you jonesing...
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Various Artists - Moda Black Volume 3 Pt 2 (Club Sampler) - (Moda Black)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 Compilations
There’s never a dull moment in listening to a Moda Black Sampler and this is no exception. Running the gauntlet from gentle disco loops to scared of the dark tech house tearers, Moda Black Volume 3 pt 2 is very much the full cream and powdered chocolate topping to part 1’s Syrossian, J&AG, Alexis Raphael and Nathan Barato blended coffee. Sidney Charles ‘Wax Digger’ is a Mack Daddy shoot with an Isaac Hayes attitude and Armando’s ‘Phuture’ sounding snares. The bass is so rotund it could outpl...
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Ramon Tapia & Stavros - Havana - (Bedrock)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
Shimmy shimmy shake to this. Ramon Tapia and Stavros ( the latter is nothing to do with Kojak, greek politics or Britain’s Got Talent) deliver a sexy, percussive tech house roller that is lifted by a trumpet hook so deadly you’d be mad not to play it wherever and whenever you get the oppportunity. Play it as loud as you can – it sounds amazing when the windows are open and you can hear it in the street. Your neighbours will love and hate you for it. One for the ‘End of Summer 2014’ charts make n...
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Lana Del Rey - West Coast (MK Remixes) - (Island)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
Of the four Llama sorry Lana del Rey tracks currently available on my (oh so behind french Itunes account) I confess to actually curing my irrational bitter bitch neuroses and pathological mistrust of the uber-marketed, pop femme fatale and to actually LIKING West Coast in all its original clothes and glory. It reminds me of David Lynch, Twin Peaks’ incidental music, Chris Isaaks and a whole host of other slide guitar abusers who are my guilty trailer park pleasures. Alex Nagshineh directs his a...
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Metronomy - Reservoir (Jacques Lu Cont) - (Because Music)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
I have a soft spot for Metronomy, their stark, edgy indie electro rock and their slice of life, working class hero lyrics. Pour some Jacques Lu Cont fuzzy, warm distortion and grungey guitar over-production on there and you have yet another Metronomy remix that is just made of win. 5 out of 5 Reviewed By Paulette     ...
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Andrew Bayer - Bullet Catch - (Anjuna Beats)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
Bone crushing beats and a two note Michelin reinforced bassline then a sombre classical piano chord and a swelling, swirling synth / ethereal choral resolve characterize Andrew Bayer’s ‘Bullet Catch’. Think the last Matrix battle between Keanu Reeves, Agent Smith, Samuel L Jackson and a million clones in bullet time. Urgent. Fantastic. Flawless. 5 out of 5 Reviewed By Paulette   ...
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Lilly Wood & The Prick & Robin Schulz - Prayer In C - (Big Beat)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
This sublime summer groove is one of those songs that keep dancefloors, radio stations, lyrics sites and Shazam in business. A simple guitar riff stapled in place by Lilly Wood’s diamond cut, smoky, gravelly vocal and ‘don’t think I could forget you’ lyrics jet propel this deep house excursion into your consciousness. Add Robin Schulz solid beats, wavering, trickling then soaring synths and you are possibly looking at this year’s ‘One Day Reckoning’. I love it. It gives immediate gratification. ...
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Bare - Trooper - (Hysteria)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
If you like ping-pong percussion and didgeridoo effects, Bare’s ‘Trooper’ is a trance house stormer that guarantees much festival euphoria. It makes the crowd stomp like petulant stormtroopers until the earth beneath them is suitably flattened and looking like nothing more than a dry Ryvita. Explosive. 4 out of 5 Reviewed By Paulette ...
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Monarchy - Living Without You (MK Remixes) - (Ultra)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
Monarchy (Andrew Armstrong and Ra Black) are a London based duo who make sharp edged, guitar powered, electro pop in the vein of Mika, Phoenix and the Scissor Sisters and whose debut performance was transmitted into space from Cape Canaveral. MK delivers two contrasting remixes that keep the peak time podium packers and after hours wobblers happy throughout the summer season. The more subdued ‘Save Your Life’ remix rolls out on a tide slicked with thick production gold, bobbing lifebuoys and wit...
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Daniel Steinberg - Let Me Down - (DFTD)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
Daniel Steinberg’s ‘Let Me Down’ is a shiny deep house button that’s pinned securely to the more commercial lapel of DFTD Records. Built around the Black Box / Martha Wash vocal sample from ‘Everybody Everybody’ takes it back to where rave culture all began then the Tube and Berger bass heavy production takes it to the centre of the more commercial dancefloors and radio stations. The Original is a moodier affair with its plucked bass line, wavering, brooding atmospherics and dissonant vocal. It’...
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Kraak & Smaak Ft. Stee Downes - How We Gonna Stop The Time (NEW_ID Remix) - (Axtone)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
Back in the not so hazy mists of time, here on these pages, I gave Kraak & Smaak’s freshly shrink wrapped package for ‘How We Gonna Stop The Time’ such a glowing review that the package could have been used as a luminous ‘in-case-of-accidents’ life jacket. I also mentioned that Axtone had licensed it and made it more fully rounded with the addition of a NEW_ID rewiring, so it makes sense to tell you that, like all Capricorns - I was right. NEW_ID’s remix is a beautifully produced, rumbling, ...
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FCL - It's You (Remixes) - (DFTD)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
FCL’s ‘It’s You’ was a favourite of mine land a staple of my Ibiza parties last year. Happily the year in the life cycle of this truly great record that could so easily have fallen squarely in that Venn Diagram intersection between ‘remembered fondly’ and ‘will it ever go away’ has been kind, and you can kiss your deep suspicions of further plays goodbye with Defected’s rather smashing remix selection. Gotsome have turned up the heat with a hissing, steamy roll in a dark garage sauna. Hercules &...
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Ramon Tapia & Stavroz - Havana - (Bedrock)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
Another excellent summertime record is the aptly titled, ‘Havana’ from Ramon Tapia & Stavroz. It’s all very much in the tension building arrangement which combines sumptuous layers of percussive rhythm until eventually dropping in blazing trumpet along with hints of vocal spelling out sunshine in loud letters. I love the atmosphere this captures and with the welcome addition of deep guitar lines this is a must for all those of a Balearic inclination. A Dub version is also included although e...
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AB/DC - This Feelin' - (Southern Fried Records)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
This so obviously has the sound of summer written all over it. From the moment the emotive scene-setting Fender Rhodes hits you straight through to the rousing, soulful vocals this packs more funk and soul than most. Originally produced back in 2003 by legendary figures Arthur Baker and Dave Clarke this has now been updated in a big way by Soul Clap who deliver the full vocal version, alongside an excellent, brooding Deepest Dub plus Instrumental for good measure. This promises to feel just as g...
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Dave Aju - Black Frames - (Circus Company)

Thursday, 12 June 2014 Albums
Dave Aju’s third album is a startling, confrontational affair. And one for all the right reasons too. This is music with a message covering subjects close to his heart, although it doesn’t feel needlessly preachy or by any means over-indulgent. But that’s also very much to do the music sounding so fresh and funky. It’s kind of a cross between twisted electronics which play between moody and atmospheric or the dancefloor cool of the effervescent, ‘Clean St’ and ‘Vins Noirs’. The one thing for cer...
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Piemont - Moonless Air

Thursday, 12 June 2014 House
German pairing Piemont know a thing or two about cultivating dancefloor bangers. After all, they’ve made a career of the fact, while their undoubted talents have brought them to many a renowned label over the years. This time it’s the turn of the fledgling With Compliments Music to host the guys, and as you’d anticipate they might, they once more turn in an EP that’s notable for its up-tempo facets. Opener ‘Moonless Air’ is my pick of the lot. Rubbery, elasticated basslines course throughout, bu...
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