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Artist: Title: Label:
The Detroit Experiment Think Twice (Henrik Schwarz and Mark E remixes) Juno
Our favourite online record store re-release and re-tool one of our favourite moody jazz house instrumentals from the inspired Carl Craig produced project of over 5 years ago. Both the remixes do a fair job in teasing in the hook and stretching out the build, but even Schwarz, who can usually be relied upon to construct a sonic epic, ultimately has little extra to add - possibly because the original album version was so good to begin with.
Kerri Chandler Track 1 Revisited Max Trax
Gold old Kerri Chandler keeps churning out solid dependable house music, and this chunky old school groove is yet another to add to the collection. For variety (and added value), the 'Reel-to-Reel mix' offers more of a live jazz jam feel to complement the deeper bumpin' mixes (altho' the 'Jazz mix', not unsurprisingly, also features plenty of sax action).
Glenn Underground 7 Minutes of Funk/Shake It Unified
Glenn Underground/Matt Hughes Get On Up Trippin
Glenn Crocker ain't no slouch either when it comes to productivity. The first of these releases is taken from his recent 'Silent' longplayer. 'Shake it' is a disco-flecked plodder and '7 minutes' is another of those percussive jazzy keyboard workouts that Mr. Underground seems to release fairly regularly. And 'Get On Up' is also a disco-esque little number, and another of those track extrolling the virtues of Chicago and the house undergoround. I can find a fair bit I like about all them, and very little to complain about, and yet I expect a little something more of the mighty talented GU.
The Rurals Better Place Peng
Anyone who has visited these pages before may know of my fondness for deep-house heroes the Rurals. Here, Jay Tripwire takes the light and lovely original into deeper territory with the fat, spacey sub-bass and old school key stabs driving things along very nicely thank you. The Candy Dealers come up with a great bubblin', squelchy version too.
Demarkus Lewis Don't Stop Believin' Artizan
This sits well with the above and is a great value package. A soft deep end and a general old school feel, particularly from the male lead, with vocal samples from some old movie or some such adding a bit of extra colour. The 'Jafar and Touch mix' adds a bit more energy to proceedings with a busier bass and squiggly top lines. The 'Tim Spilt mix' opts for deep house atmospherics and a spiraling synth line, spiced up with clattering percussion. The extra 'Miss You Baby' track also has a nice wide, rich sound, with a sultry female phoning in to tell us "it's been too damn long..." and so on.
Toka Project Weekend World EP Ornate Music
Jay West Blue & Gold Bambino
It would appear this page is destined to feature a host of house music veterans and old favourites. Toka Project are kings of the subtle use of the sample and, in their hands, the whole is generally far greater than the sum of its parts - creating organic sounding grooves that are far removed from the clunkier cut & paste jobs that lesser producers might come up with using similar sources. And the Jay West EP is of a similar quality; again sample-driven, but with enough skill, originality and musicality to keep you hooked. And 4 different and varied tracks to boot - a proper EP.
Dual City / Africentric Urban Orchestra Higher Centre Tonality
Willie Graff & Tuccillo 1,2,3 Yeah Yeah Freerange
Yet more of the deep stuff: Higher Centre' is a fairly jazzy number with flute and percussion. 'Afridub' is, not surprisingly, also driven along by percussion and chants, but manages to strip down the afro-groove so it is sparse enough not to alienate those deepheadz that find too much instrumentation a distraction. The Jay Tripwire remix of 'Lake Michigan' offers a squelchy low end, rolling percussion, swirling keys and stabs, and a woman intoning meaningfully about 'dreams'... oh, and a sprinkle of tinkling piano. Good stuff.
I thought the Graff & Tuccillo track went well with the above, although it isn't exactly laden with ideas. The Brothers Vibe mix has a bit of a harder-edged drive to it and pushes the little vocal sample forward too... (very usable as a builder and a bridge if you need to move to a slightly little tougher sound).
Lisa Shaw Music In You Salted
Any release featuring the silky voice of the lovely Ms. Shaw is well worth a listen and Migs' Salted label has been setting a pretty high standard with its distinctive brand of post-Naked funky but cheese-free soulful house for a few years now. Quality, pure and simple.
Lars Bartkuhn / Rolan Appel Based On Misunderstandings 3 Sonar Kollectiv
Two remixes from Arto Mwambe, previously unknown to me, but one to watch. Both are distinctive and quirky, with the percussive builder that is Bartkuhn's intriguingly titled 'Goodbye Dancing, Hello God' having the edge for me.
Anton Zap Pepper Exchange EP Vol 2 Quintessentials
Now that deep, techy and minimal appears to be the sound of modern house music, Germany has become a powerhouse of productivity . I noted that in a recent delivery of new releases nearly half of the stuff I had purchased were German imports. And if deep driving, techy grooves with the odd aural quirk are your bag, this EP is a fine example of their product. And yet another EP which is true to its name - 4 disitnct tracks on one slab of vinyl (this seems to be a welcome trend of late!).
Ripperton / Sam K Eze EP Dessous
In a similar vein, Dessous must be one of the leading labels from Germany at the moment, releasing a fair amount of this deep, dark-edged moody stuff. But they maintain a fairly high standard and this EP also has plenty to recommend it.
The Lost Men
Pace of Mind
Drumpoet Community
Switzerland's Drumpoet Community is fast becoming another favoured label for deep grooves and this EP is a good example of why. The title track is an atmospheric, dubby slightly acidic deep builder, 'Uc' is a techier driving groove, and 'Brother and Sisters' offers vocal samples sprinkled over percussion and more layered keyboard stabs and squiggles.
Shur I Khan feat. Alexander East
Simply Yes
Lazy Days
An absolutely blinding release - deep house music of the highest order, with vocal colour from East reminsicent of Robert Owen's very best output, and all mixes are top notch. Can't praise this too highly.
Kim Davis / Tonya Renee / Gemini / Dawn Tallman
Home Sampler EP1
Simply Yes
Just in case you thought soulful vocal house was pretty much extinct, here are 4-examples of fine soul vocals underpinned by house grooves of various flavours - and all are well worthy of your attention. There comes a time when listening to sounds generated by technology - no matter how vast and varied, weird and wonderful - just isn't enough, it just doesn't cut it. That's what this stuff is for - they call it soul for a reason!
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last revised: 10th April 2009