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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

Bat For Lashes - Laura (Mark Knight & Graffiti On Mars Remix) - (Toolroom)

Thursday, 18 September 2014 House
If you like your progressive slash tech house served with a smidgeon of fairground organ and a fluorish of synth pad psychedelics then Mark Knight and Grafitti from Mars’ stunning reworking of Bat For Lashes’ ‘Laura’ will more than ring your Pavlovian bell. The beats carry the arrangement for more than four minutes and then the vocal arrives like mountain spring ice melting on a stalactite. The arrangement swells with the soaring strings and voice and fills your heart to bursting. Then, before y...
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Kwabs - Walk - (Atlantic)

Thursday, 18 September 2014 House
Kwabs’ ‘Walk’ brought the sun out in no uncertain terms. What a great package of mixes it is – all are so different (it's like the old days when a remix package was a remix package and not six rizla close variations on the same theme). I love the raw, dirty funk of Royce Wood Jnr’s live performance style rewiring. The Sasha mix is dark, progressive and phenomenal. Nutone’s drum & bass excursion is ticklish, intelligent and jazzy with a sexy sub bass line that would tickle a Trappist monk’s f...
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Huxley - I Want You - (AUS)

Thursday, 18 September 2014 House
Huxley’s ‘I Want You’ is a perfect summer cut that is destined to be the soundtrack to many a beach blanket love affair. The vocal is smooth and sweet, the bassline pushes into the red and the rhythm pushes on underneath the shimmering keys, scatting vocal and reverbed Rhodes until you are snogging like a sixteen year old. The Club Rub is an out and out jackathon with its sexy and warped, barely there sub, depth charged bleeps and shiny synth washes. And to close the ‘youandewan’ remix takes it ...
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Cyril Hahn - Voices EP - (PMR)

Thursday, 18 September 2014 House
Balls on the line and without an ounce of over confidence, I say that Cyril Hahn is on the verge of national chart success with at least one of the tracks off his ‘Voices EP’. ‘Slow’ Ft Rochelle Jordan is a whispered vocal seduction with emotive piano chords and a deft lyrical ‘do you mind if I take it slow’ left hook. It’s a satin sheets and champagne special that will bring all the girls and boys to your yard. ‘Open’ ft Ryan Ashley is built around a male vocal ‘my heart’ loop that snags you li...
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Various Artists - Get Lost VII Mixed By Craig Richards - (Crosstown Rebels)

Thursday, 18 September 2014 Compilations
It strikes me that Craig Richards never quite gets the plaudits he deserves for his compilations. This is after all the man who mixed the very first Fabric compilation, who delivered a couple of very strong ‘Tyrant’ releases for the label, and who has now done a pair of cracking mixes for Crosstown Rebels. These might be the mixes to do it, for they demonstrate not just expert DJ craft but a thorough knowledge of techno and techier house from the last 30 years. The treats in store in the first m...
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Oso Leone - Mokragora - (El Segell Del Primavera)

Thursday, 18 September 2014 Albums
Oso Leone describe themselves as ‘an experimental and progressive music band from Mallorca’ – but hold on! It’s always good to hear something new, and that’s what I’ve discovered with this band, as their music casts a subtly hypnotic spell if heard at either end of the day, when it is most effective. Their music has a dreamy quality that lends itself well to the highlight, with softy delivered vocals that do on occasion develop in to something more substantial, as they do in the impressive ‘Cact...
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Red Snapper - Hyena - (Lo Recordings)

Thursday, 18 September 2014 Albums
‘Hyena’, Red Snapper’s seventh album, has as its starting point a soundtrack the band did for a 1970s Senegalese road movie recently restored by Martin Scorsese. That explains the band’s preoccupation with Afro rhythms and guitars, which lend a distinctive colour to their already inventive beat work and jazz-inspired lines. A lot going on then, but it’s easy to listen to – the laid back grooves of ‘Mamberty’ and ‘Village Tap’ being cases in point. Tom Challenger delivers some expert sax playing ...
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Orlando Julius With The Heliocentrics - Jaiyede Afro - (Strut)

Thursday, 18 September 2014 Albums
The Heliocentrics are a versatile bunch, having achieved fascinating results in their collaborations with Mulatu Astatke and Lloyd Miller, and here they are working with Nigerian superstar Orlando Julius, who takes the opportunity to bring forward some songs from his early years that have never been recorded. As ‘early years’ for Julius are back in the 1960s, this makes for a rewarding blend when the Heliocentrics’ more modern, jazz based thoughts come into it, and as a result the musical cockta...
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The Juan Maclean - In A Dream - (DFA)

Thursday, 18 September 2014 Albums
With each album they release The Juan MacLean make big strides forward – and with ‘In A Dream’ they have repeated the trick, establishing themselves as DFA’s flagship act now that LCD Soundsystem are no more. Rather than just John MacLean the act is now most definitely a duo, because vocalist Nancy Whang brings so much to the overall sound, and her deadpan vocals are brilliantly done. ‘In A Dream’ takes them further into the 1980s, and finds them with a bit of a Moroder fixation – but rest assur...
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Timid Boy – Extasy

Thursday, 18 September 2014 House
The Time Has Changed label is always a good place to go for fans of useful club sounds, and as well as being run by Acumen, Damien 'Timid Boy' Almira is now also involved having previously been associated with the Trax imprint. Here he steps up on his new label with a new hard hitting single that comes with remixes by ONNO and Rhadow. The one original, Extasy, is a barrelling, toughened house track with rave synth smears, classic I’ll house you vocal snippets and lots of raw and sweaty attitude....
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Acumen - Diagonal - (Thrill of It)

Thursday, 18 September 2014 House
Acumen is on a roll at the moment; serving up hits on various labels, not least his own Time Has Changed. Here though he pops up on the always interesting The Thrill of It label with two new tracks that come complete with remixes from Mobilee and Cocoon duo Lee van Dowski and Dean Demanuele and Jules & Moss. Up first is The Thrill of It, a bubbly, warm bit of tech house with a interesting vocal samples, a nimble bass stab and lots of nebulous melodies. It makes for a truly unique atmosphere...
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Drala – Drala’s Theme - Yoruba Records

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 House
Toronto resident Drala lands at Osunlade’s Yoruba crossing the not so great divide (now) between House and Techno. The result is emotionally infused music that is at once soulful, emotional and yet contains a darker edge care of some inescapable abrasive stabs on, ‘datFREAKY’. Next,’ Drala’s Theme’ dives head first into atmosphere via a carefully crafted set of deeper notes reaching another dimension. While ‘Spirits And Smiles’ then develops that theme along with some splashes of vocal producing...
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Black Booby - Black Booby at the Roach Motel - (BLACK BOOBY)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 House
The clue is in the title as Black Booby reference and pay reverence to Roach Motel aka Terry Farley & Pete Heller and their outstanding series of productions. B-Boy Black (BB's H O U S E werk Mix) kicks things off with almost ten minutes of Wild Pitch styled madness that pounds and twists the groove into ecstasy with the concluding keys adding colour and texture. The shorter to the point, ‘Roach Mega Beats’ follows with a timely reminder of mid-nineties tribal beats and accompanying vocal st...
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Horixon feat. Robert Owens - Brighter Day - (Eskimo Recordings)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 House
Back to the title track in just a second. But try the excellent, ‘Great Things’ for a sublime, melancholy yet uplifting piece of music that touches upon greatness with classic House basslines complimented by an array of swirling synths and Jacques Teal’s tastefully delicate vocals. So good you will play it twice in a row to relive the experience. ‘Brighter Day’ features the unmistakable voice of Robert Owens who delivers a rousing ‘live in harmony’ styled affair that hits just the right note wit...
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System2 – Blackjack Hustler EP - (System2)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 House
Following up the ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ EP is this equally intriguing release that isn’t afraid to combine influences and sounds to surprise your expectations. Opening with the title track, ‘Blackjack Hustler’ which delivers unsuspecting dark beats and synth lines providing an intense backdrop for the smoky, late night words, but then all hell breaks loose as the Acid bassline hits you midway. The John Dimas remix feels much punchier, although not as captivating, with techy drums and bass develop...
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Krankbrother - One Eyed Jack's EP - (Classic)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 House
Classic keeps it coming with this latest double-header from Krankbrother. Two equally delicious House cuts collectively spell out dancefloor madness with the opening, ‘Freak In Motion’ working a suitably twisted P-Funk styled sample over relentless drums as the vocal lines and fuzzy bass top it all off. ‘One Eyed Jack’s’ gets even more excitable with sleazy old-time Chicago styled vocals alongside a typically classic Bassline coupled with appropriate 80’s drum and stab sounds to get the party go...
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Adriatique - Rollox EP

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 House
Of all the Diynamic crew, it's safe to say that Adriatique aren't the most prolific. Preferring instead to follow a slow and steady approach, it's nonetheless a way of working that's paid numerous dividends to date. On their latest, they remind us just why they spend so long crafting the goods, as they introduce us to the Rollox EP, a release that reminds us just why they're getting a name as a force to be reckoned with in the house music world. And while it's hard to pick a favourite here, it'...
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Rafael Cerato - Gladiator EP - (Cohesive)

Friday, 12 September 2014 House
France has a long history of great house music producers and hoping to add his name to that canon is Rafael Cerato. Tanztone Records, Louder Music and Union Jack have all released his music to date and now he serves up his Gladiator EP featuring two new essential gems. Up first is Gladiator, which is a magically melodic bit of house music with chords that elevate the track into the stratosphere. It shows real artistry and musicianship and is the sort of cut that will form a great peak in any set...
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Piemont - Crowned - (Toolroom)

Thursday, 11 September 2014 House
There are mix tools and then there are mix tools and Piemont ‘Crowned’ stands head and shoulders above the rest. Why? Well – the beats are solid, clacking like the breached back doors of your favourite underground club, it filters the sound for a good minute and a half - whilst in my imagination at least, we work and worm our way through the kitchens and then tumble forwards as the track blazes into full sound, the filters are released and we hit the dancefloor for a right old dance off. It’s a ...
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BenZel - Wasted Love - (PMR / Friends Keep Secrets)

Thursday, 11 September 2014 House
And so the Disclosure / PMR talent roster continues to grow apace with teenage Japanese producers Two Inch Punch and Benny Blanco who collectively make up BenZel. The result? Acid kool aid styled artwork representing for slo-mo disco, married with Stevie Neale’s smoking, bluesy vocal fuse, anti-gravity beats that pin it to the floor and a breaks undercurrent that supercharges the breakdown. If this is what they’re capable of when they’re under 18 roll on 21. Ones to watch. 4 out of 5 Reviewed ...
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