COMPILATION OF THE MONTH
The House That Garage Built (Needwant)
You can’t have failed to notice the garage influence in the house scene right now. This Traxx compilation showcases the skills of the new school of producers coming through today who use old-skool techniques alongside modern technology to achieve this hybrid sound. Skippy hi-hat patterns and large sub-basses are seeping into house tracks all over, with producers like Dusky, Disclosure and Ben Pearce melding garage with deep house. This album is not a cash-in on this current fad but a well chosen selection of the tracks that are trailblazing this scene right now. Each one works not only an ambassador for the scene but an essential track in its own right. Standouts come not just from people like George Fitzgerald (pictured), Ben Pearce and chart favourites Disclosure, but Ejeca, Huxley and The Mekanism. If you like the garage sound, this is for you.
TUNE OF THE MONTH
After releasing on Well Rounded and Numbers, plus a host of cheeky bootlegs, Deadboy is back paying homage to a decade of Numbers. Opener ‘On Your Mind’ sees him dabble in vocals for the first time, as 909 snare rolls build to an epic breakdown and then veer in an 80s direction. ‘Geek’d Up’ starts off sparse with spooky vocals; then a Detroit synth drives in. Garagey groover ‘Black Reign’ injects a dark energy into the post-
Disclosure sound, and ‘Nova’ recalls the halcyon d’n’b days of Moving Shadow. Belting.
The three bears of Callum, Charlie and Benny that make up the composite parts of Panda have brought out a brilliant EP on Bondax’s Justus imprint. A hybrid of deep house and future garage,
this has elements of that Disclosure-type sound but with much more dancefloor energy. There are cut-up vocal snippets scattered over shuffling UKG beats with a penetrating synth, which then drops into a brilliant half-tempo breakdown.
The flipside sees a gorgeous female vocal sitting atop a soaring synth tied together with 2-step influenced percussion over a bouncing bass drum and a solid 4/4 beat. All in all, a great mix of house sounds that works really well.
All That You Do (Southern Fried)
Andy Meecham and Dean Meredith are back with another sterling Chicken Lips release. The initial bleeps hark back to the early days of Warp, but then the track breaks in a completely different disco-house direction before a diva vocal rips through. Chuck into the mixing pot the remixers list of Joe Goddard, Ben Pearce, The Rhythm Odyssey and Emperor Machine and we’ve got ourselves a festival in the one release. One fifth of Hot Chip, one half of The 2 Bears and one whole of Joe Goddard drops a classy house rework. Ben Pearce takes things to a dark basement and cuts up the vocal through his Maschine mincer. The Chicken Lips guys break off into their composite parts with Andy in his Emperor Machine guise dropping an analogue disco gem. Then Dean dons his Rhythm Odyssey mask and drops a hypnotic acid house workout. They could have
an ‘Inspector Norse’-type crossover track on their hands with this one.
Zion (No. 19 Music)
Jonny White’s No 19 Music is back with another great release from the duo of Danny Kane and Marc Spence as Jakkin Rabbit. Danny Kane is a bit of an unsung musical hero, having recorded with Bobby Womack, Chaka Khan, Shara Nelson, and, erm, UB40. But we can let him off for the last one as he redeemed himself by recording ‘Blame’ with Marc – one of the highlights on the ‘Hot Waves 2’ compilation. Their prowess was further cemented when previous work with Robert Owens made it on to Art Department’s ‘Social Experiment 3’ album. Here they once again bring house legend Robert Owens into the studio to work on opening track ‘Mothership’, which is everything you would expect: stunning vocals sitting over a quality house groove.
Disc (Dirt Crew)
Chymera was responsible for one of the biggest releases on Dirt Crew to date with the massive ‘Curl’. He is welcomed back with open arms by DJ 3000 and James Flavour of Dirt Crew, with the massive new single ‘Disc’. It’s a brilliant house workout that makes a whole lot of sense when that bassline drops. A hypnotic bassline that chugs along with solid beats, this is
a massive club track that builds and builds. B-side track ‘Isa’ is a sincere slab of house music and comes complete with a brilliant remix from an on-fire Mark E. Everything Mark E touches right now is given his own sound, which lies somewhere between dubbed-out house and dark disco. And as if these three tracks weren’t enough, there’s also the brilliant mid-set sound of ‘Valise’.
Mark Ashen feat SOS
Cat Walk (Classic Music Company)
The original version of this, with its skippy beats, dark whispered vocals and catchy topline, is a good ,solid house track, but it’s the stunning remix by Zombie Disco Squad that will get the most attention here. Zombie Disco Squad have clearly been fans of the Classic back catalogue, as evidenced by their dark take on the boompty-boomp sound of label owner Derrick Carter. With loads of big build ups and a hypnotic cowbell, this will wake up any dancefloor. To round off the release there’s the welcome inclusion of an acid version complete with a liquid acid bassline.
Foolish (High Sheen)
After exciting releases from Mia Dora and Doubleheart, (the collaboration between Optimo’s Twitch and Neil Landstrumm), the super-cool High Sheen label is back with another essential release. Lovers Rights is a collaborative effort from Dam Mantle and experimental American duo, Silk Cut. ‘Motivation’, is the stand-out track, with its unrelenting hypnotic synth line that just sucks you in. This will get plays from a whole host of house DJs as it successfully covers a lot of bases. The epic ‘Mt Florida’ will appeal to fans of Freerange Recordings or the mellower Planet E moments. B-side tracks ‘Urn’ and the catchily named ‘1178’ are both quality house jams but it is the two solid A-side tracks that are the ones to head for here. There’s loads of exciting output to come from this label, so watch this space.
Nobody Else (Aus)
The formidable partnership of Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman has already gifted us with some amazing wax including the seminal ‘Flo Jam’, and also great remixes for Hot Chip and Justin Martin. They are back with their first release of the year with this brilliant four track EP. Their distinctive hybrid sound touches on garage and tech-house has appealed to a massive range of DJs from Seth Troxler to Loefah and Pete Tong to Paul Woolford. The A-side seems more house-orientated with its vocal cut-ups and off-kilter percussion. The B-side takes things a little darker with the metallic offbeat tone of ‘Atone’ and the darkened beats of ‘Dummy’. All four tracks here are so playable and represent another feather in Dusky’s cap.
Thinking Of You (Hot Flush)
Following sterling releases on Hypercolour and Will Saul’s Aus Music, George Fitzgerald returns to the Hot Flush label for the first time since 2011 with another amazing release of bass heavy house. This stunning track will be coming out on a limited 12” and will have further tracks to be added to the release in the coming months. Emotive vocals sit nicely on top of the darkest of grooves. This is a peak-time track with one foot firmly on the emotive side of house. With his inventive DJ sets and stunning Essential mix, Fitzgerald is also clocking up the DJ air miles.
Blackout: Whitenoise (Blaufield Music)
Following up the massive ‘Haleshop’, release, the German duo continue their dark house onslaught on dancefloors across the
world. They have been responsible for some huge records, like ‘Body Language’, ‘In White Rooms’ and more recently ‘Bad Love’. ‘Blackout: Whitenoise’ is less on the melodic side of Booka Shade and more on the jacking, clubbing side that will appeal to the techier type of DJs. The original club mix could have come from the studio of Cajmere with its huge, metallic, offbeat tone and tripped-out vocals. On the B-side we have the wonderfully deep ‘Glory Box’ plus a stripped-back Flash mix of ‘Blackout: Whitenoise’. This release is a solid precursor to this summer’s highly anticipated album and tour.
The Four’s A Crowd EP (Foto Recordings)
The flawless Foto imprint has brought us releases by Deep Space Orchestra, The Revenge, Andy Ash and
label owner Ali Ooft! (get it? Ooft is an anagram of Foto). Pitched-down house is the order of the day, as usual, with this four track various EP. With a nod to Moodymann, Andy Hart and Max Graef bring us the super-cool ‘Dem Young Jabronis’, a massive- sounding yet low-slung house groove that will have your head nodding. Ooft! himself hands in one of the high points with twisted synth sound of ‘Jareth’s Revenge’. Finally, MermaidS touch on Theo Parrish territories with the gorgeous ‘Run With The Night’. Quality.
Volume II Sampler (Moda Black)
Jaymo & Andy George invite some big names to the party Jaymo and Andy George’s amazing Moda Black offshoot label (for all things deeper), has been overtaking the original Moda imprint of late with its solid, deep releases. The first release on the
Moda Black compilation was recently named by iTunes as last year’s Dance Album of The Year. Looks like this one will go the same way with this cheeky sampler containing tracks by house heavyweights, Danny Daze & Maxxi Soundsystem, Huxley, Hot Since 82 & Habischman and Jaymo & Andy themselves. This EP, with four great tracks, was a strong contender for Track Of The Month.