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COMPILATION OF THE MONTH
The Streets Are Alive With The Hounds Of Music (Instruments of Rapture)
After three years and nine releases, The Revenge, aka Graeme Clark, has decided to put a nail in the coffin of his amazing cult record label, Instruments of Rapture. To celebrate the final release, he’s going out with a bang. These edits, remixes and original productions are available on CD for the first time, and also as a limited-edition triple vinyl set. This album contains house, deep house and pitched-down house tracks hand-picked by The Revenge. He’s asked friends of the label all to contribute, and it includes excellent tracks by OOFT!, Deep Space Orchestra and a track from The Revenge’s side project with Craig Smith, 6th Borough Project. RIP Instruments of Rapture – gone but not forgotten.
6th Borough Project ‘Home Alone’
OOFT! ‘Make U Mine’
Deep Space Orchestra ‘Mirage’
TUNE OF THE MONTH
Romanticise EP (High Sheen)
After their first class remix for Morning Parade and more notably their off-kilter house remix of Roots Manuva, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the debut release from Mia Dora on the super-cool High Sheen label. Sounding like Eats Everything jamming with Disclosure, lead track ‘Hypnotise’ has a familiar 90s sample, but that just adds to its massive appeal. One of the other highlights, ‘Freckles,’ will appeal to fans of Claude VonStrokes’ Dirty Bird imprint.
Mark E feat Robert Owens
We Could Love (Needwant)
Since ‘Horns Of The West’ and ‘Call Me’, Mark E has been producing next-level music that’s pitched somewhere between house and disco, his tracks in the virtual record boxes of everyone from Horse Meat Disco to Steve Bug. Here he produces a low-slung, grooving track that stands up as an instrumental even before the vocal is added by the living legend that is Robert Owens. Mark Evetts fits right at home on the super on-point Needwant label, which shows no signs of slowing down after sterling releases from artists like The Revenge and Maxxi Soundsystem.
Love Cannot (Freerange)
His debut single was on Derrick May’s Fragile imprint way back in 1997; since then he’s started his own Kass label in 2004 and had a track last year on Carl Craig’s legendary Planet E Records – so it’s clear that Eric Ericksonnis not prolific, but holds out for the essential releases, citing quality rather than quantity. ‘Love Cannot’ finds him on Jimpster’s impeccable Freerange. The title track could have come from the likes of Maceo Plex or Art Department, whereas the flip, ‘Let Them Know’ sounds like it would be at home on Poker Flat. Let’s hope we don’t need to wait as long for the next one!
The Pimp Convention (Paragraph)
Usually you’d find Slam on the techno page. But here we find the Soma head honchos in housier mode on their own offshoot label, Paragraph. This release showcases the groovier, deeper side that Stuart and Orde play at their ‘Return To Mono’ night at their Sub Club residency, as opposed to their usual techno guise. Sounding like Oliver $ in a bad mood, this builds and builds before breaking into a Deetron-style synth pattern. B-side ‘The Sides Collide’ sounds like the new-style DJ Sneak jamming with Maceo Plex. More house from Slam please!
Following tracks from Bristol bass/house wonderkid Julio Bashmore and the disco-tinged house of Maxxi Soundsystem, Futureboogie shows no sign of slowing down with another quality release. The big-sounding synth-led house of the main track will appeal to fans of François Dubois and Milton Jackson, while the B-side, ‘Panick Agressive’, would work for warm-ups or at sun-soaked Balearic beach bars. Finishing off the package is the beach house samba sound of ‘Book On The Beach’, which sounds like the love child of Azari & III and Faze Action.
Florence and the Machine
Spectrum (Maya Jane Coles mix) (Universal/Island)
Maya Jane Coles earned her stripes recording and remixing for labels like Hypercolour, Crosstown Rebels and Defected, and has an impeccable DJ Kicks mix album and an artist album on the way. Along with her sterling remixes of Tricky, Little Dragon and The Orb, she is a girl in demand both on the DJing circuit and behind the mixing desk. So fly straight past the Calvin Harris remix and head for her stunning remix, her dark house grooves perfectly complimenting Florence Welsh’s sultry vocals. Maya knocks it out of the park; this is how this track should sound.
Nina Kraviz feat King Aus
Nina Kraviz could be in the running soon for taking Maya’s house queen crown, with brilliant recordings like this on the cult label Rekids. The original mix, with its spooky organ, off-kilter beats and smooth vocal, is great – but just wait until you hear the remixes. Rhythm Odyssey deliver a deep acid workout while Rekids label boss Matthew ‘Radio Slave’ Edwards drops the pick of the bunch with a dark, dancefloor version that’s tailor-made for the floor of Berghain.
Soul Clap feat Mel Blatt
Need Your Lovin’ (Wolf + lamb)
Featuring the lungs of an erstwhile All Saints chanteuse may be a risky thing in the deep house factions, yet surprisingly Soul Clap have pulled it off, making this one of the highlights of their debut album ‘E Funk’. The original broken-beat track has been stripped back and given a skippy garage-tinged rework by Nitetime, aka DJ Kon and The Whiskey Baron. The ever dependable No Regular Play tackle another standout album track, ‘Trouble Trouble Trouble’, and as ever deliver the deep house goods.
Just An Illusion (Crosstown Rebels)
Lead track ‘Just An Illusion’ is just as good as you’d expect from a protege of Damian Lazarus. Add high calibre remixes from Franck Roger and Appleblim and you’d be happy enough. But throw in a remix from the legend that is MK and they really are spoiling us. I have no idea where Mark Kinchen has been hiding since his house takeover in the 90s, but he is back from his hiatus and on top form right now, delivering brilliant remixes like this one for Amirali.
Lana Del Rey
National Anthem (Todd Terry remix) (Polydor)
With her model looks, golden voice, impeccable imagery, over half a million albums and two million singles sold to date, Lana del Rey is on a roll. Each single so far has come with a quality remix package, and this is no exception. Legendary house don Todd Terry takes care of the house remix. With its turbo-charged infectious bass and 90s-style skippy snares, this shows TT still has his finger on the pulse while still demonstrating his house pedigree.
Taking Over (Discotech)
The original track from Tough Love is great, but head straight to the amazing remix from Jini Cowan. Jini is gaining quite a reputation as a travelling DJ and has shown real aptitude in the studio, too, with brilliant tech house remixes for people like Pete Gooding, and most notably her epic remix of Gabriel & Dresden’s ‘Tracking Treasure Down’. Her dark, deep remix of ‘Taking Over’ with its bold synth stabs, walking bassline, moody chords and lazy claps, will delight fans of everyone from Sasha to Jamie Jones.
Goin In (Rinse)
After an impressive discography in both drum ’n’ bass and breaks, Zinc came up with a whole new genre: crack house. With an outstanding remix from bass-
house supremo Foamo, the ‘We Love... Space’ resident fuses all the best bits of electro, garage and breaks to make this supersized juggernaut of bass. The original has an off-beat, sidechained bass which cuts though large beats, coupled with a shouty post-Prodigy vocal. This will be rocking a festival field near you over the summer for sure.
Options (My Favourite Robot)
Finland’s Jori Hulkonnen has an impressive catalogue of electronic tracks on labels like Laurent Garnier’s F Communications and Tiga’s Turbo Recordings. He was also responsible, with Tiga, for ‘Sunglasses At Night’, as Zyntherius. Now working under his new Third Culture moniker, we find him recording for quality Canadian deep house label My Favourite Robot. MFR has an impressive roster of artists and remixers like Subb-An, Phonogenic and James Teej, and Hulkonnen’s atmospheric deep house is right at home on the list. With a moody vocal from Harri Falck, this is a glorious track.
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Stronger (Miguel Campbell mix) (Polydor)
From one of the best prehistoric pseudonyms in dance music comes another quality release – though with a moniker as ace as Orlando Higginbottom, we don’t know why you wouldn’t record under your own name. New single ‘Stronger’ is from T.E.E.D’s brilliant debut album ‘Trouble’, and was a great track even before it got into the hands of Hot Creations hot-shot Miguel Campbell. His synth-led remix allows the vocal to breathe while venturing down his trademark housey route. Sounds a bit like going to an afterparty with Russ Yallop and Hercules & Love Affair.
Freak For Your Love (Far Records)
With such house classics under the Lee Brothers’ belts as ‘In The Trees’ and ‘Kariba’, ‘Freak For Your Love’ is a stunning return to form with a big, catchy female vocal that you’ll be singing along to by the end of the track. Add to that a massive live bass guitar, rousing piano and electronic squelches and we’ve got ourselves a party. If this was sung by a big pop diva – say, Kylie – it would be number one. In fact, at one time she probably would have killed to get her hands on this credible vocal track. There’s a darker house mix with a strong synth line, but it’s the original version with its blissfully sexy vocal that tops the bill for us.